INCENTIVE PROGRAM PURPOSE
The incentive programs offered by the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) are intended to provide funding to new businesses or existing businesses within the DDA District to assist with significant permanent modifications of commercial properties.
The goal is to attract the desired mix of uses to the Downtown including retail; for profit and not for profit Arts and Cultural facilities; unique restaurants and boutiques, and service orientated industries to better serve our downtown community.
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 building facades in the DDA District for awnings, signs, landscaping and other similar exterior improvements. Storefront exterior improvements not to exceed $10,000. Building exterior improvements not to exceed $20,000 (Note: Stand-alone building or building facade more than 25,000 sq. ft.)
Applications shall be reviewed by DDA staff in the order they are received. Once an application has been approved for an amount, the award is final and cannot be increased. The award amount can be reduced if the paid receipts are less than the original cost estimate provided with the application. The DDA 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 DDA 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 DDA, 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 confirmation from the DDA.
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 DDA prior to commencing work and expenditures. Applications may not be considered if submitted to the DDA 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 building and/or 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.
- If a leasehold improvement project is not completed within twenty-four (24) months of award approval, the grant award shall be automatically revoked and the recipients will be required to resubmit the grant application.
- 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 DDA will not provide additional reimbursement for damages to awnings.
- If the applicant is receiving funds from the City/CRA, for facade imporvements, the applicant is not elligible to receive additional funds from the DDA.
Note: Businesses NOT eligible for Business and Façade incentives:
Financial services (State and Federal)
National brands in any category
Tattoo parlors / Body Piercing/Body Art Shops
Smoking products and accessories, vape shops
Medical Marijuana dispensaries, CBD products
Nightclubs and Bars / Liquor Stores
Any Business with outstanding code enforcement violations or debt to the City
Any Buildings with outstanding code enforcement violations or debt to the City, specific to the individual space the tenant is applying for funding for leasehold improvements
Any Business that is not permitted by city code
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 or Board);
Inadequately documented applications will not be reviewed. Be sure to include all necessary documentation.
- 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 DDA 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
Note: Facade Incentive Guidelines have been updated as of 02.21.23