Facade Grant Program Policy & Application

A. Program Overview & Purpose

The Downtown Excelsior Partnership, Inc. (DEP) Facade Grant Program offers matching grants to commercial property owners and/or retail business owners who wish to restore the exteriors of their buildings. This program is managed by the DEP Design Team and overseen by the DEP Board of Directors. Goals of the program are the following:

  • Improve the physical appearance and structural integrity of historic buildings in the Downtown Excelsior Springs Historic District.
  • Restore the historic character of buildings in the Downtown Excelsior Springs Historic District.
  • Make Downtown Excelsior Springs more attractive to residents and tourists.
  • Encourage additional business investment opportunities and improvements.

Grants are available for buildings located within the Downtown Excelsior Springs Historic District (see attached map). This includes buildings that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, or identified by Excelsior Springs Historic Preservation Commission’s history survey (including National Register, Historic Contributing or Historic Non-Contributing). All grants require a 50% match; grant funds disbursed as reimbursements at the successful completion of the project.

50% of an approved bill for signage, maximum $500
50% of an approved bill for awnings, maximum $1,000
50% of an approved bill for facade improvements, maximum $1,000

While the program is primarily aimed at historic structures within the downtown business district, commercial buildings outside the district may also be considered for grants based on the following criterion:

  • Buildings that have a commercial retail occupancy as the primary use.

B. Project Eligibility

Eligible Projects
Only exterior projects are eligible. Eligible exterior improvements include, but are not limited to:

  • Exterior rehabilitation and restoration.
  • Painting.
  • Brick, masonry, and stucco repair.
  • Window repairs.
  • Awnings.
  • Signage or graphics.
  • Exterior lighting.
  • Architectural fees or other items as approved in the Grant Review process.

The building must be primarily in retail business use or intended for retail use. Proposals from tenants must include a letter of authorization from the building owner. All applicable fire, safety, disabled accessibility, and permit requirements must be met. All projects must comply with the City of Excelsior Springs’ building and zoning codes, historic preservation guidelines, and all other city, state and federal regulations.

Ineligible Projects
Interior projects are not eligible. Examples of ineligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-facade improvements such as roofs, structural foundations, billboards, security systems, non-permanent fixtures, parking lot of paving improvements, security bars, fencing, sidewalks and interior window display lighting and window covering.
  • Interior improvements and modifications.
  • Improvements to single-family residential properties.
  • Items related to business operations, i.e., inventory, business equipment, etc.
  • Financing of building acquisition.
  • Refinancing existing debt.
  • Working capital.
  • Inappropriate cleaning or other restoration activities:
    • Windows may not be replaced unless the replacement is constructed of like materials and duplicates the original window per the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.
    • Sandblasting and power washing are not allowable treatments, per the Secretary of Interior’s Standards.
  • Inappropriate or non-approved design or materials.
  • In-kind labor, materials and/or services provided by applicant.
  • Tools or equipment.

Specific Criteria for Selection

  1. Readiness to Proceed
    • Preference will be given to projects that can begin work immediately upon award.
  2. Location
    • Preference will be given to projects that have high visibility in the Downtown Excelsior Springs Historic District and/or are compatible with surrounding uses and contribute to the enhancement of the district.
  3. Code Compliance and Need
    • Preference will be given to projects that seek to restore deteriorated structures.
  4. Completeness and Accuracy of Application and Supporting Materials
    • Preference will be given to projects that include any combination of:
      • Detailed project description and drawings.
      • Third-party licensed contractor cost estimates.
      • Evidence of historic appropriateness, research and compliance.
    • Preference will be given to applicants that are deemed complete.
  5. Multi-Purpose
    • Preference may be given to projects that meet multiple District needs, such as:
      • Retailed oriented businesses
      • Re-use of vacant or underused buildings
      • Projects that aid in streetscape development

C. Funding Information

  • Signage Projects can be matched 50% up to $500.
  • Awning Projects can be matched 50% up to $1,000.
  • Facade Improvements Projects can be matched 50% up to $1,000.
  • Local funds may at times be augmented by outside sources, such as federal and state funds.
  • Up to two (2) facade grants may be awarded to any one applicant or building frontage during a rolling four (4) consecutive year period. These must be new project. Applications for additional grants for any single building must document previous projects and submit evidence that the new project will further contribute to the historic integrity of the structure.
  • Funds will be disbursed on a reimbursement basis ONLY; accurate and timely receipts are required to receive funds from DEP upon completion of the project; the Program Manager and Design Committee Chair will inspect the project to determine completion.
  • The applicant will make every effort to provide timely disbursements upon receipt of complete applications and proof of appropriate expenses.
  • Disbursements requests older than twelve (12) months or from expenses incurred prior to application approval will not be honored.
  • Work performed prior to award of the grant of certificate of appropriateness completion and acceptance shall not be eligible for match or reimbursement consideration.

D. Grant Timeline

Applications are accepted on a continual basis. Please note, that funding the program follows the DEP budget year: July 1 to June 30. Applicants are encouraged to submit their materials early in the grant cycle as projects are reviewed on a first-come-first-serve basis.

E. Application & Approval Procedure

Forms and instructions are available by emailing exec@visitesprings.com or at the DEP office located at the Hall of Waters. Completed applications must be submitted online through the application portal. All submissions must be accompanied with the following information:

  • Building owner name and contact information
  • Project applicant name and contact information
  • Letter of authorization from building owner if owner is not applicant
  • Building address and building historic name if known
  • Current photograph of the building
  • Funding amount requested
  • Detailed project budget, including sources of funds
  • Detailed text and/or visual description of the project
  • Current building use, including tenant names and contact information. If unoccupied, a description of plans for use following improvements is needed.
  • Project timeline

All projects must comply with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, City of Excelsior Springs, and Excelsior Springs Historic Preservation Guidelines for historic rehabilitation and preservation.

Facade Review Panel
A facade review panel of the DEP Design Team and DEP Board of Directors will make determinations of project eligibility and submit funding recommendations. Applicants may be contacted and/or a site visit scheduled if additional information or clarification is needed. The facade review panel will meet as need to take action.

F. Application Submittal & Approval

Facade grant projects proposed for historic properties, and for all (contributing and non-contributing) properties with the Downtown Excelsior Springs Historic District, are subject to review and approval by the Excelsior Springs Historic Preservation Commission. The applicant is responsible for submitting their application to HPC for a determination of appropriateness. Contact the City of Excelsior Springs Community Development Department to schedule review. Grant funds will be awarded pending HPC approval if a determination of appropriateness has not been achieved at the grant application deadline. Grant funds will not be disbursed unless the determination of appropriateness have been received.

G. Grant Conditions

Grant recipients must agree in writing to abide by all conditions contained in the grant, including:

  • Grant recipients must take a picture in front of the improvement receiving their check.
  • All necessary building permits must be in place before project startup.
  • All contractors must be licensed and bonded.
  • Reimbursement will occur only after the project is completed and inspected by DEP and all receipts for labor and materials have been submitted and approved.
  • DEP retains the right to withhold any or all funding if the project is not proceeding according to the project outline or is not following the agreed-upon plan in design, construction, or materials.
  • Granting period is 12 months from the date of the award:
    • Extensions may be requested in writing with the concurrence of the facade review panel.

Facade Grant Application