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More Than a Pretty Face: Hogan Administration Launches $650,000 Façade Improvement Program in Baltimore

Business and Property Owners Can Receive Up to $10,000 through Effort to Strengthen City’s Commercial Districts

The transformation through the Neighborhood BusinessWorks program of this abandoned corner store into the Highlandtown Gallery, a place where local artists can show-off their work, demonstrates the impact a new façade can have on the entire neighborhood.

The transformation through the Neighborhood BusinessWorks program of this abandoned corner store into the Highlandtown Gallery, a place where local artists can show-off their work, demonstrates the impact a new façade can have on the entire neighborhood.

New Carrollton, MD – The Hogan administration is launching a program to helpsmall businesses and other property owners in Baltimore’s commercial districts brighten up and improve their exteriors.

Through the $650,000 façade improvement program, property owners in the city’s commercial districts can receive up to $10,000 for beautification projects such as exterior painting, masonry repairs, restoration of architectural details, replacement of windows and doors, awning and signage installation, exterior lighting, and other approved capital improvements.

The program is the latest in the Hogan administration’s multi-pronged effort to support business recovery and economic development in the city.

The program targets commercial districts, especially those affected by the civil unrest some months ago. However, any business owner, property owner or non-profit organization occupying a commercial space in Baltimore City may apply for assistance to improve their façade through this program.

“Our investment in seemingly surface  items such as a new paint job, awnings or signage can transform how people feel about a commercial district neighborhood, inspiring new patronage, new investment and  new hope,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “We also will engage local nonprofit organizations to assist in providing architectural design services and on-the-job training for Baltimore City residents.”

The façade improvement program will:

  • Enhance the visual appeal and marketability of small businesses and commercial districts.
  • Provide access to architectural design assistance that will assist property owners with enhancing historic features and aesthetic appeal of commercial buildings.
  • Offer workforce development opportunities in the construction industry for under-employed Baltimore City residents.

Funding for this program is limited. Properties identified for a façade improvement will be chosen based on revitalization impact. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Non-Profit Partners:

The department will work closely with nonprofit partners to maximize the program’s benefits.

The Neighborhood Design Center has been selected as the nonprofit partner to provide architectural design services.  The center will engage other nonprofit partners, including Baltimore Heritage and the Baltimore Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.  These organizations have experience designing unique and transformative façade improvements that support small businesses and preserve historic buildings.

The Living Classrooms Foundation and Civic Works have been selected as the non-profit partners to provide the workforce development and construction services for the initiative.

Both nonprofit organizations have extensive experience in workforce development training in the construction industry and are licensed general contractors.  The organizations will be training and hiring Baltimore City residents who have various barriers to employment, such as lack of work experience, limited education or job training and non-violent criminal records.

“The department is looking forward to creating opportunities for residents to help improve and rebuild their city,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt.  “We also expect the initiative will provide better job opportunities for city residents.”

For more information and to apply for the program, please click here.