Facade Grant Program

Downtown Cedar Falls has over 100 years of construction currently in existence.  The goal of the Community Main Street Façade Improvement Program really encompasses four points including:

  1. To encourage historic preservation through restoration of downtown structures
  2. To abate any continued deterioration of downtown commercial and/or residential structures
  3. To augment the natural assets of downtown by restoring the uniqueness, character, and integrity of downtown structures to the period of their construction
  4. To help in the economic recovery of downtown through increased sales in retail and commercial businesses, and increased valuation of property

As Community Main Street, Inc. and its Design Review Committee are interested in making the largest visual impact possible in the downtown area, we are certainly encouraging large restoration projects. However, just as important are small signage improvements, consideration of awning alternatives, as well as leasehold improvements that may be made by tenants. All of these have a significant effect on the visual presentation of downtown, and therefore, its image.

In order to encourage widespread participation, this program offers up to $1,000, dollar for dollar, in matching grants. These monies are provided through a Community Development Block Grant Program administered by the City of Cedar Falls. To qualify for assistance, an applicant must comply with the Community Main Street Design Guidelines and all improvements must be approved by the Community Main Street Design Review Committee prior to having work started.

The Community Main Street signage, as well as the Main Street Iowa Design Consultant, will work with property owners/tenants, free of charge, on recommendation for paint colors, need or appropriateness of awning treatment, color schemes, window treatments, advice on masonry repair, and signage.

Application Process

A. Program Implementation

Application Process:
Facade grant applications may be downloaded below or by contacting the Community Main Street office. A list of facade improvement grant guidelines is available here

Facade Improvement Grant Application 
Facade Improvement Grant Application  

Completed facade improvement grant application, drawings, and plans of the building which illustrate all proposed work, including any structural work or repair, awnings (plus a sample of the materials), signage, cost estimates, construction schedules and paint colors must be submitted to the Community Main Street for review by the Design Review Committee.

The Community Main Street Design Review Committee will approve the application if it complies with the Main Street Design Guidelines. If not approved, the Community Main Street Design Review Committee will explain, in writing, to the applicant the reasons for rejection and what, if any, steps can be taken to receive approval.

Applicants requesting funds must sign an agreement with Community Main Street, Inc. 

Grant monies will be distributed to the applicant upon completion of the approved project and inspection conducted by the Main Street Design Review Committee.

Property owners who have two or more businesses occupying a single building/property, with each business having its own entrance, are eligible for a façade grant for each business.

Applications must be completed and approved prior to any construction activity.

Post Application Procedure:
The Design Review Committee and/or Community Main Street Program Director will monitor the progress of the project.

Changes in approved work specifications must be approved by the Community Main Street Design Review Committee.

Approved changes in work verifications will be attached to the original applications dated and signed by the program director or Design Review Committee.

The applicant and Design Review Committee will conduct a final inspection before grant payment will be made to the applicant. A Certificate of Approval will be issued to the applicant. In order to receive payment, the Certificate of Approval must be submitted to the City of Cedar Falls.

B. Grant Policy

The Main Street Design Review Committee will not use race, sex, age, or religion as grounds for refusing or granting assistance to an eligible applicant.

C. Program Amendments

The details of the Façade Improvement Grant Program may be amended to the formal approval or a majority of the Community Main Street, Inc. Board of Directors.