About us

The West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is an independent taxing district created in 1967 by a special act of the Florida Legislature. Its mission is to promote and enhance a safe, vibrant Downtown for our residents, businesses and visitors through the strategic development of economic, social and cultural opportunities. 

Downtown West Palm Beach is a dense, walkable urban district and is the historic cultural, economic, and governmental center of Palm Beach County. Downtown is recognized as the center of a vibrant city and is home to unique businesses, a growing and diverse residential population, dynamic nightlife, world-class cultural venues, and a beautiful waterfront park. Through various programs and projects designed to enhance quality of life, support cultural initiatives, and drive economic development, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) delivers outcomes above and beyond standard municipal services within the Downtown area. 

For more information about the DDA or Downtown West Palm Beach, visit downtownwpb.com or call the DDA at (561) 833-8873.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Business Incentive Grant program offered by the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) provides funding to new businesses or existing businesses within the DDA District to assist with significant, permanent modifications to existing Downtown buildings. Through this program, the DDA encourages major tenant improvements necessary for successful tenancy of commercial spaces. The goal of this program is to attract the desired mix of uses to the Downtown and assist with the rehabilitation of commercial properties.

INCENTIVE BOUNDARIES

West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority District

Please click here for DDA Boundary Map. 

Clematis Street for “active uses” such as retail and arts-based businesses as defined by the Americans for the Arts.

Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts reports provide a research-based
approach to understanding the scope and economic importance of the arts in the United States. The creative industries are composed of arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. Arts businesses and the creative people they employ stimulate innovation, strengthen America's competitiveness in the global marketplace, and play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy.

Retail businesses in ground floor level of residential condominiums in the area between Datura Street, Evernia Street, Fern Street, from Quadrille Boulevard (east of the FEC railroad tracks) to Flagler Drive (Includes properties adjacent to both sides of listed streets) - Maximum allowable amount not to exceed $10,000.

GRANT DETAILS

Up to 25% of Total Improvement Cost for Leasehold Improvements (must stay with building)

*Maximum allowable amount not to exceed $50,000 (Incentive Boundary)

If awarded a Business Incentive program grant the reimbursement terms are:

  • 100% paid upon completion of qualifying leasehold improvements (as determined by City of West Palm Beach officials), proof of paid invoices for the improvements and Business Tax Receipt, occupies the space and opens for business. (Subject to West Palm Beach DDA Grants Review Committee and Board Approval)

Annual funding for this program is limited, therefore, it is administered on a first come, first serve basis until program funds are exhausted. 

Recipients of a grant for leasehold improvements shall obtain within six (6) months of award approval, all required permits with the City of West Palm Beach and shall maintain all required permits active and current with the City of West Palm Beach.

If a leasehold improvement project is not completed within eighteen (18) months of award approval, the grant award shall be automatically revoked and the recipients will be required to make a presentation to the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority Board in order to re-petition for the grant award.

PROGRAM SUMMARY 

  • The Business Incentive Grant Program is available to tenants and new businesses relocating or existing business owners who plan to make significant leasehold improvements to buildings within the Target Area as described in the Incentive Boundaries section above.
  • The grant shall not exceed 25% of the total project cost up to a maximum of $50,000
  • 100% paid upon completion of qualifying leasehold improvements (as determined by City of West Palm Beach officials), proof of paid invoices for the improvements and Business Tax Receipt, occupies the space and opens for business. (Subject to West Palm Beach DDA Approval)
  • All applications must include appropriate documentation; Inadequately documented applications may be rejected.
  • Applications shall be reviewed by the DDA Grant Review Committee in the order they are received. The Review Committee must find that: 
  1. The project significantly improves the property and improvements are permanent (i.e. – cannot be removed from the building)
  2. The project encourages uses as defined by the Merchandise Mix Plan.
  3. Grants will no longer be approved once all allocated funds are exhausted.
  4. Grant applications will not be considered if construction/renovations have commenced prior to written confirmation from the DDA. 

Once the Grant Review Committee approves a grant, it is submitted to the DDA Board of Directors for review and approval. The applicant will receive notification detailing all of the terms and conditions of the grant, including, but not limited to the amount of the grant; the approved uses for the proceeds; any reporting requirements to be met by the applicant; and any conditions required to be met prior to closing. The processing and approval of projects may take up to 12 weeks.

ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS 

  • Application Fee/Background Screening - $94.74 per applicant paid upon submission of application, to complete a background check. Each owner/applicant must complete the application and submit the fee.
  • There must be no liens or taxes due on the property.
  • A copy of proof of ownership interest in the property must be submitted with application.
  • A cover letter with a scope of the project, benefits of the property improvements for the community, and statement of amount requested.

Application must include:

  • Resume for each property owner
  • List of credit and banking references
  • Detailed statement relative to needs to be met by the grant
  • Drawings, plans and specifications 
  • Specific budget breakdown 
  • Photograph of current building conditions
  • Potential lessee(s) for space if applicable

Additional information may be requested by the DDA (Staff, Review Committee or Board); Inadequately documented applications will not be reviewed. Be sure to include all necessary documents.

BUSINESS INCENTIVE GRANT APPLICATION 

Important Instructions

  • Before filling out this Application Form, thoroughly read the PROGRAM SUMMARY & APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS document for this program. 
  • Only one application can be utilized for one project.
  • Do not leave spaces blank. Put N/A if it does not apply.
  • In the event that the DDA Loan and Grant Review Committee requests additional information, it must be submitted in a timely manner.
  • The processing and approval of projects may take up to 12 weeks.

Inadequately documented applications will not be reviewed.

Be sure to include all necessary documentation.

 For additional information contact:

Teneka James - Feaman, Associate Executive Director

West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority

300 Clematis Street, Suite 200

West Palm Beach, FL 33401

tjames@downtownwpb.com

PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) have established a Facade Improvement program within the DDA District that will aid in the revitalization of the Downtown Area by adding to the "curbside appeal" in order to attract and retain businesses.

The program shall provide grants to business owners or property owners for up to      50% of the cost of exterior improvements made to the building facade in the areas visible from the adjacent street or other streets within the eligible are, and for awnings, signs, landscaping and other similar facade improvements. No grant shall exceed $10,000.

Applications shall be reviewed by a Grants Review Committee in the order they are received. Once an application has been approved for an amount, the award is final and cannot be increased. The Committee shall determine the need for the improvement and shall consider how the proposed improvement would fit in with the surrounding area and further the goal of making the area more attractive for potential customers and new businesses. Grants will no longer be approved once all allocated funds are exhausted.

Once the Grants Review Committee approves a grant the applicant will be requested to provide the DDA with a schedule for completion date for the work. No work shall commence before receiving written authorization from the DDA to begin work. 

Any improvements done before such authorization will not be eligible for grant funds. The processing and approval of projects may take up to 12 weeks.

Payment shall not exceed the amount approved by the Grants Review Committee, or 50% of the total bill. The grant will be reimbursed after completion of the improvements and proof of paid invoices for the facade improvements. Upon inspection and approval by the City, the DDA will pay the grant within 30 days.

Grant applications will not be considered if construction/renovations have commenced prior to written confirmations from the DDA.

INCENTIVE BOUNDARIES
West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority District 

Please click here for Boundary Map.

ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS 

  • Application must be approved in writing by the Grants Review Committee prior to commencing work and expenditures. Applications may not be considered if submitted to the Committee after work is completed. 
  • Eligible commercial properties must be located within the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority's District. 
  • Eligible businesses must have a valid business tax license with the City of West Palm Beach and submit a copy with this application. 
  • There must be no liens or taxes due on the property. 
  • Application must include a description of the work proposed and completion date. 
  • Application must include two verifiable bids for each aspect of the project, unless the project is being completed by a sole contractor. Bid(s) must be a licensed professional(s) to preform the work. Application must identify which vendor(s) is preferred and reason for the preference. 
  • Application must include at least 1 photograph of the facade area and any necessary detail areas (sign, awning, etc.) and 1 photo or rendering of what the completed project will look like. 
  • If the property is not owned by the eligible commercial business, the application must include property owner's written authorization to perform proposed improvements.  
  • Facade improvement work must be complete within 100 days of the Grants Review Committee approval. 
  • Grants will no longer be approved once all allocated funds are exhausted. 
  • If your application is approved for a new awning, it is expected that you protect the awning from damage during hurricane season. If a hurricane warning is issued it is expected that you will remove the awning so that it is not damaged. The WPB Downtown Development Authority will not provide additional reimbursement for damages to awnings. 

After approved facade work is complete, it must be inspected by a DDA representative and at least 1 photograph of the completed project must be submitted to the DDA. Applicant must also submit the final bills for the approved qualifying leasehold improvements to the DDA. 

Additional information may be requested by the DDA(Staff, Review Committee or Board); 

Inadequately documented applications will not be reviewed. Be sure to include all necessary documentation.  

Important Instructions 

  • Before filling out this Application form, thoroughly read the PROGRAM OVERVIEW & APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS document for this program. 
  • Only one application can be utilized for one business. 
  • Enter the required information. Do not leave spaces blank. Put N/A if it does not apply. 
  • In the event that the Facade Improvement Grants Review Committee requests additional information, it must be submitted in a timely manner. 
  • The processing and approval of projects may take up to 12 weeks. 

GRAND OPENING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM GRANT
The West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) offers assistance to new businesses for their “Grand Opening”. It is at the discretion of the individual business (with the advice of the DDA) as to what style and size of grand opening they wish to have. Retail stores, for instance, may offer light hors-d’oeuvres & wine to invited guests while they peruse the store, where a new restaurant may have a full band and open bar. Other businesses may wish to purchase advertising or mailings announcing their new Downtown location.
 

THE DDA OFFERS THE FOLLOWING:

  • The DDA will reimburse up to $1,000.00 in matching funds, toward expenses that are directly related to the Grand Opening. To obtain the maximum amount you must incur expenses of $2,000.00 or more. ($1,000.00 maximum limit).
  • The DDA can distribute an email invitation to area VIP's and/or general public (5K+ opt in subscribers).
  • Inclusion in "The Downtown Update" Newsletter and/or social channels (DowntownWPB/DDA)
  • Coordinate a Ribbon Cutting with key stakeholders.

REQUIREMENTS

  • The Business must be located within the DDA Boundaries. Please click here for Boundary Map. 
  • The DDA & the Business will mutually agree on a date and time for the Grand Opening. The processing and approval of an application may take up to 2 weeks. 
  • NO APPLICATION WILL BE CONSIDERED WITH LESS THAN 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO EVENT DATE. 
  • Business must receive written approval from the DDA.
  • Application must be submitted with a W-9. Please click here for a blank W-9. 
  • Please provide to the DDA copies of your paid receipts for reimbursement. Please allow 30 days for processing.
  • The DDA must be listed on the invitation. Please click here for approved DDA logo's. 


West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority