Facade Loan Program

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program was enacted in 1974 to provide block grant funding for community development programs. The program assists urban, suburban, and rural communities to improve housing and living conditions and expand economic opportunities for low and moderate income persons. CDBG helps to create jobs though the expansion and retention of businesses and is a great tool for helping local governments overcome serious challenges facing their communities. CDBG funds are used to partner with the private and non-profit sectors to support economic development and improve community conditions. The City of Barberton, through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), has created a program to provide loans to property owners for Façade Improvement Purposes. The main purpose of this program is to assist with small project improvements that may be holding back a business from opening and creating jobs in the City of Barberton. CDBG is federally funded; therefore all projects that receive two thousand dollars ($2,000) or more will be subject to Davis Bacon Prevailing Wage requirements. If CDBG were eliminated, Ohio would lose $137,466,074 in direct community investments and approximately $507,751,170 in leveraged community investments for FY 2018.

Project Eligibility:

All applicants must fill out an application to be considered for a loan. All work being done must be for a commercial building located in the City of Barberton. Our program is available to businesses and property owners for work to be performed on first and second floor space with an active street presence. Façade improvements are strictly for the exterior of the building, visible from the public right of way. The main purpose of this program is to improve the condition and curb appeal of commercial buildings. Due to these funds coming from the federal government, all projects over $2,000.00 will be subject to Davis Bacon Prevailing Wage requirements. Most improvements must be approved by the City of Barberton Design Review Board (contact Stacy Carr: sedgar@cityofbarberton.com) for additional information.

Elements that are eligible include, but are not limited to:

  • Exterior painting;
  • Removal of inappropriate or incompatible exterior finishes and materials (false fronts such as aluminum panels);
  • Restoration of exterior finishes and materials;
  • Installation of safety glass;
  • Reconfiguration of existing doors and entrances;
  • Repair or replacement of existing storefront window systems;
  • Signage (new, repair, replace, or remove);
  • Exterior lighting (building, signs, display areas);
  • Awnings (new, repair or replacement of existing);
  • Improving exterior architectural barriers that restrict the mobility and accessibility of elderly or severely disabled persons to public facilities and improvements;
  • Outdoor sculptures, pools of water, and fountains, and other works of art;
  • Installation of outdoor security devices.

Ineligible elements include:

  • Sidewalks, light posts, and/or parking;
  • Streetscape features (plantings, benches, etc.);
  • Building interiors;
  • Signage not connected to the building;
  • Generally, purchase of equipment with CDBG funds;
  • Mowing of recreational areas;
  • Personal property that is not an integral structural fixture;
  • Political activities;
  • Fees associated with the Design Review Board approval process.

Application Review & Process:

It is recommended that potential applicants contact the Planning Department to evaluate their eligibility for the program. Please note that applications must be received and reviewed by the Project Review Committee BEFORE any work begins. Loans will not be awarded to projects that are under construction or completed. All work must comply with the City’s Building Department Code requirements and all relevant permits and inspections are required.

The Community Development Administrator will determine if the submitted application package is sufficiently complete to review. When an application is deemed complete, it will be taken to the Project Review Committee. The Project Review Committee generally meets once a month. You will be notified after the meeting if it has been determined whether the project will receive an award. The Community Development Administrator will notify you in writing of the approval/denial of the application. You can then expect to receive an official loan offer. Should you accept the loan offer, you will then be required to submit any outstanding documentation. Award recipients will be required to execute a legally binding agreement in the presence of a notary with the City to complete the loan process.

NOTE: The City has limited funds and loans are offered on a first come first serve basis. This program will require a lien guarantee to be placed on real estate property held in Ohio as collateral for the duration of the loan.

Application packages must include enough documentation to illustrate the visual impact of the project and its costs. Failure to provide required information will delay the review process.

The Project Review Committee reserves the right to refuse reimbursements in whole or in part for work that:

  • Does not conform to the program design guidelines.
  • Does not conform to the proposals submitted with your application and authorized by the Project Review Committee.
  • Are not commensurate with the workmanship and cost customary to the industry.
  • Are not completed within 6 months. Since the Committee cannot reserve funds indefinitely, your loan may be subject to cancellation if not completed or significant progress hasn’t been made by the completion date. Request for extensions will be considered only if made in writing and progress towards completion has been demonstrated.

The Project Review Committee reserves the right to offer loan amounts different than what is requested by the potential borrower.

The Facade Loan has an 80/20 Match requirement for all projects with cost above $2,000. The loan can pay up to a maximum 80% of the total cost of a project and the applicant will be responsible for the 20% match. THIS LOAN MAY BE REIMBURSABLE UPON COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT.  FUNDS WILL NOT BE DISTRIBUTED UNTIL ALL PAPERWORK AND REQUIREMENTS ARE SATISFIED.

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