Download the business guidelines

Download the application

Visit the Great Streets Program website

Building owners and commercial tenants (with property owner’s approval) can apply for a Great Streets façade grant if they are located within an eligible business district AND the façade improvements are for a commercial business or commercial building, meaning it has a retail or office use. For-profit and not-for-profit entities are eligible to apply as long as the grant is used for a commercial building. Most commercial uses are retail and office; however day care centers are one example of a commercial use that isn’t specifically retail or office.

The eligible business districts served by the Bancroft Neighborhood Association’s Great Streets Façade Improvement Matching Grants are the:

  • 38th St E and 4th Ave S Commercial Node
  • 38th St E and Chicago Ave S Commercial Node
  • 38th St E and Bloomington Ave S Commercial Node
  • 42nd and Bloomington Ave S. Commercial Node

How much are the matching grants?

One Great Streets Matching Grant can reach up to a maximum of $7,500 per business or business storefront in the nodes at 38th
and Chicago and 38th and 4th and a maximum of $5,000 per business or storefront in the node at 38th or 42nd and Bloomington. All grants must be matched dollar for dollar. You can apply for more than one grant, provided the cumulative total of all the grant awards does not exceed the maximum grant amount. This is a reimbursement program. You must complete and pay for the full match amount, prior to receiving a reimbursement check from the Bancroft Neighborhood Association.

The four neighborhood organizations in the area are Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO), Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association (PPNA), Bryant Neighborhood Organization (BNO), and Bancroft Neighborhood Association (BNA). Some of these organizations may have NRP funds available to assist with the private match. Contact Luke Stultz or your neighborhood organization for information about additional assistance for the private match.

 

What will the matching grant dollars pay for?

Great Streets Matching Grants can pay for many exterior, façade improvements. The work must be visible from a public street, not only an alley. Download the business guidelines above for eligible and ineligible improvements. Discouraged activities are not eligible for matching grants.

The following are eligible improvements for façade matching grants:

  • Exterior painting,
    re-siding, or professional cleaning
  • Restoration of exterior finishes and materials
  • Masonry repairs and tuck pointing
  • Removal of architecturally inappropriate or incompatible exterior finishes and materials
  • Restoration of architectural details or removal of materials that cover architectural details
  • Repair or replacement of windows and doors (if replacement, windows and doors must be architecturally appropriate)
  • Window and cornice flashing and repair
  • Canopy or awning installation or repair
  • Murals
  • Installation or Removal of exterior signage
  • Removal of barriers to access the building for people with disabilities
  • Exterior lighting
  • Contracted labor related to any of the above improvements
  • Wall,window, and hanging signs advertising the business name and identity

The City of Minneapolis requires permits for many of the eligible improvements listed here. It is vital that business and building owners work with City Zoning staff on designs and obtain all necessary permits before beginning work. If you have  any questions about permits, please visit Minneapolis Development Review at www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/mdr, 612-673-3000, or 250 S 4th St, Rm 300.

What will the matching grant dollars NOT pay for?

The following activities are not eligible for matching grants:

  • Improvements in progress or completed prior to preliminary approval
  • Routine maintenance that is not part of an eligible façade improvement project
  • Billboards
  • Roofing
  • Mechanicals and HVAC systems
  • Interior work
  • New construction
  • Monument, pylon, temporary, or roof signs
  • Interior window displays
  • Security systems (including metal roll down gates and window bars)
  • Trash and mechanical enclosures
  • Fencing
  • Landscaping
  • Parking areas
  • Bike parking
  • Improvements to non-commercial buildings
  • Improvement to a building interior, rear, or side not visible from the main street
  • Any other improvement not deemed eligible on the above list

 

The City has small business loan programs with favorable interest rates to assist with many building interior and system improvements that are not eligible for façade matching grants. Visit the City website (http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/cped/business_finance_home.asp) or call 311 for more information.

HOW TO RECEIVE A GRANT

Step 1:
Be sure you meet program requirements. This includes:

  • The property to be improved is up-to-date on all property taxes.
  • All construction management is your responsibility.
  • Remember that this is a reimbursement program; you must complete and pay for the private match for the work before the Bancroft Neighborhood Association will issue a reimbursement check. See step 6 for further information.

Step 2:
Set-up a meeting with Luke Stultz (BNA Community Coordinator) to discuss your project and review the Great Streets Façade Design Guide.

Step 3:
Submit the application to Luke Stultz at the BNA office. This includes:

  • A written description of the project, including drawings, pictures, or other materials that accurately represent scope and intent of project improvements.
  • Evidence you have the matching dollars available.
  • Two (2) contractors’ bids that meet the following guidelines:
    • Both bids must be for identical scopes of work.
    • If qualified to do so, you may perform the work yourself; however, grant funds can only be used to compensate for materials, not for labor or the purchase or rental of tools and equipment. Sweat equity labor includes that of a friend, relative, or anyone with a financial interest in the business or property.
    • Evidence that contractors are licensed, bonded, and/or insured.
    • Applicants are encouraged to solicit estimates from women and minority contractors.
    • Projects totaling less than $1,000 and murals only need to submit one bid.
    • Grant amounts are based on the lower bid; however, you are free to accept the higher bid.

Step 4:
A committee of BNA board members view each grant application. BNA approves applications on a first-come, first-serve basis until all funds are allocated.

Step 5:
Receive a signed copy of the Business Application and Participation Agreement from BNA after the project has been approved. The Participation Agreement authorizes you to proceed with the project. Before you begin, be sure to obtain all the necessary permits for the project. Permit verification is required prior to any grant
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Step 6:
Complete the project and submit project documentation to Luke Stultz at BNA within nine (9) months of the date on the signed Participation Agreement. The grant funds will be disbursed to you or to your contractor(s) by the Bancroft Neighborhood Association after receiving ALL four of the following items. If more than one contractor is used, there must be all four items for each contractor.

  • 1) Completion Certification, provided to you by BNA and signed by you and the contractor.
  • 2) Proof of final inspection by the City of Minneapolis Inspections Department for work requiring a city permit (a copy of the permit signed off by the responsible City Inspector).
  • 3) Final invoice from the contractor showing the total project cost.
  • 4) Proof of payment paid to contractor in one of the following two forms. You should be totally satisfied with the work before paying.
    • A lien waver is a statement issued by the contractor that advises the client that they, the contractor, (a) have been paid in full for the total project cost, (b) are satisfied with the compensation for the work they performed, and (c) waive their right to place any liens on the property for the work completed. (If there are significant material costs, we advise you to obtain a lien waiver from the materials supplier, advising that the contractor paid them in full.)
    • If you only paid the matching funds (private match) portion of the contract and the contractor will wait for the final payment you can submit a cancelled check AND a signed receipt. You will need a copy of the actual cancelled check(s), returned to you by the bank you used to pay the contractor. Both the front and back of the check must be copied and must be made payable to the contractor for a minimum of the private match. You will also need a properly executed receipt, signed by an authorized officer of the contracting firm that includes the contractor’s name, address, telephone number, and notation that a minimum of the private match was paid in full.

PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR

Bancroft Neighborhood Association

Attn: Luke Stultz

4120 17th Ave S

Minneapolis, MN 55407

612-724-5313

info@bancroftneighborhood.org

 

CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS

 

Rebecca Parrell

105 5th Ave S, Suite 200

Minneapolis, MN 55401

612-673-5018 (phone) 612-673-5113 (fax)

rebecca.parrell@ci.minneapolis.mn.us