Façade Grants: Princess Anne & Lafayette Corridors
The Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority (EDA) has a facade improvement grant program offering technical and financial assistance to qualified businesses and property owners seeking to renovate or restore building facades in the Princess Anne Street and Lafayette Boulevard Corridor Overlay Districts, both of which are primary gateways into the city's 40-block National Historic District. The program seeks to revitalize the Princess Anne Street corridor between U.S Route 1 and Fauquier Street and the Lafayette Boulevard corridor between Princess Anne Street and the Blue and Gray Parkway by improving their physical appearance.
- 50/50 matching grants up to $10,000 are available for façade and site improvements on existing and expanded commercial buildings.
The EDA may approve matching grants for well-designed improvements that embrace the design guidelines of the Princess Anne Street Historic Corridor Overlay District, adopted by Fredericksburg City Council on June 12, 2007, and the Lafayette Boulevard Gateway Corridor Overlay District, adopted by City Council on August 23, 2011. Buildings with a rating of 1-3 are eligible, as identified in the respective Frazier Associates Site and Façade Assessment Reports.
Large scale projects may require a licensed architect and contractor to refine a conceptual design and to implement the plans. Architectural design or designers fees are costs eligible for reimbursement from the grant. All plans are subject to Planning Commission approval and building permits.
The goal of this program is to revitalize these corridors into more attractive entryways, including, but not limited to, restoration of architectural details, removal of dated and inferior façade treatments, landscaping, restoration maintenance, improved windows and doors, well-proportioned signs, and lighting.
Façade Improvement Parameters
Building improvements must be compatible with the original character of a structure and the overlay districts guidelines. The following elements are encouraged in the context of a façade renovation and property improvement:
- Appropriately scaled window areas for display or for looking into a retail business, restaurant or service business, with lighting to facilitate night viewing
- Restoration of details in historically contributing, or significant buildings, and removal of elements which cover architectural details
- Window replacement and window framing on the front of the building and sides of the building visible from the public right of way (EDA will consider work on the building's sides visible from the street)
- Landscaping features where appropriate, including window boxes or planters
- Signs which are attractively integrated into the architecture of the building including the window area, doorway and awning or canopy
- Appropriate awnings or canopies (cloth or fabric), where these can be both functional and visually appealing
- New storefront construction of an existing building
- Cleaning and repainting of buildings if part of an architectural upgrade
Other improvements may be considered, if they meet the parameters of the overlay district guidelines.
All improvements must comply with standards set forth in the City's Zoning Ordinance and building codes, as well as applicable sections of the state building codes and federal Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), and the Princess Anne Street Historic Corridor Overlay District guidelines and the Lafayette Boulevard Gateway Corridor Overlay District guidelines. Improvements to buildings without significant architectural features must be carefully designed to be in scale with both the existing structure and neighboring structures. Buildings with significant architectural qualities should attempt to restore and maintain those features. For more information regarding the overlay districts, contact Charles Johnston, Director of Community Planning and Building Department at 540-372-1179, or email.
Funds for an approved grant will only be provided after all required licenses and permits are obtained and the work is complete.
Applicants for participation in the Program must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Applicants must be property owners or business owners with retail businesses, restaurants, service establishments or offices (tenants must have written approval from property owners) with frontage on Princess Anne Street or Lafayette Boulevard in the overlay corridors. Vacant buildings are eligible
- Properties must be up to date on all municipal taxes, fees, ordinances and codes prior to participation in the program
- Business owners should have at least a three-year commitment remaining on their lease(s)
- Applicants must comply with all state and local laws and regulations pertaining to licensing and permits
- Plans must be approved by the Community Planning and Building Department
Businesses and property owners may choose to first apply for a planning matching grant. A design consultant of the applicant's choice can provide assistance to applicants through the conceptual design stage. The EDA will pay up to $500 for this conceptual design service intended to provide the drawings/sketches showing the planned improvements. These renderings or other suitable renderings must be submitted as part of the subsequent
Grants are subject to EDA approval and availability of grant funds.
The grant amount will be payable when the project is complete and has received all necessary city inspections. Projects must be completed within six months of approval unless or a longer time agreed upon by the EDA.
Grant applications for planning assistance and improvements are accepted four times a year: March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1.
Prior to application to the EDA for a grant, the exterior alteration plans and any required site improvement plans must first be reviewed and a certificate of appropriateness approved by the Planning Commission as provided in the respective overlay district ordinances. Please contact Charles Johnston, Director of Community Planning and Building Department (see above) for this application.
Upgrading the image of the overlay district requires the evaluation of each proposed improvement within a local architectural and historical context. It is important that all of the elements of the façade improvement are coordinated in an approach that respects the building's location and neighboring structures, and that makes a noticeable visual improvement. The EDA will consider these factors in determining approval, modification or rejection of each application. The decision of the EDA is final.
For further information on this program and application materials, contact Amy Peregoy at 540-372-1216, or email.