Façade Grant Program
The City of Walhalla, in its continuing effort to support the development of the Downtown Business District, has created a Community Development Grant Program for all business and property owners within the designated District. The Community Development Grant Program will encourage economic growth and help create a more inviting character for the downtown area. The following outlines the details of the Community Development Grant Program.
Program Oversight and Funding
The City of Walhalla Community Development Grant Program Committee is responsible for administering a Community Development Grant Program that is intended to stimulate improvements to the exterior and exterior of commercial buildings in the Downtown Business District (area identified on the attached map.) The Community Development Grant Committee will consist of the members of the Walhalla Downtown Development Corporation and the City of Walhalla Community Development Manager.
The Façade Grant Program is funded through the Walhalla Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC) and all activities relating to the funding of community development projects will be reported to the City of Walhalla, City Council and any other agencies requiring reporting for grants received by the Walhalla Downtown Development Corporation.
This is a reimbursement grant of up to 50% of the total project with a maximum grant amount of $3,000 per property per twelve-month period. (Grant recipient will be reimbursed up to 50% of the project once it is completed.) Example: No matter the amount of the applicant’s project costs, the grant awarded will not exceed $3,000. For example, if total project costs are $7,000 the applicant is to pay 4000, the Walhalla Downtown Development Corporation will award $3,000. Project must begin within 45 days of grant approval and be completed within 6 months of start date.
Eligible Properties and Applicants
At this time, eligibility is limited to any building or structure located within the Downtown Business District defined by the overlay.
Owners or tenants may apply for the grant however, a letter of consent from the property owner will be required if the tenant is applying for the grant.
Only businesses whose existing use is allowable by the City’s current codes and regulations are eligible for funding through the Community Development Grant Program. The Community Development Grant Committee reserves the right to deny funding to applicants who are delinquent on payment of fines, fees or taxes due to any government agency that could reflect the stability of the business.
Eligible and Ineligible Improvements
For purposes of this program, eligible expenditures shall include expenses related solely to building improvement, which are eligible for reimbursement, as outlined in the program guidelines and determined by the Community Development Grant Committee.
Improvements must be consistent with recommendations set forth in the City of Walhalla Downtown Master Plan and the Downtown Walhalla Design Guidelines for the area in which the property is located.
All work must be completed by a licensed contractor, legally operating in the City of Walhalla. The applicants should contact the city for assistance with permitting and business licensing. In some cases, self-contracted projects will be allowed. These projects will require an itemized list of materials. Contractors must supply a detailed written estimate, which must accompany the application. Contractors must also supply proof of any specialized license required for the work being performed, proof of Walhalla City Business license and a Certificate of Insurance listing the City of Walhalla as additional insured. The grant will not reimburse grantees for self-contracted labor hours.
Examples of eligible improvements for Community Development Grant funding include, but are not limited to:
- Removing of false façade;
- Cleaning of brickwork, which includes chemical striping, water wash, or scrapping;
- Exterior painting or surface treatment;
- Repair/replacement of windows and doors;
- Installation or repair of awnings;
- Historical reconstructions and replacement of original architectural details;
- Storefront enhancements;
- Exterior wall lighting;
- Decorative post lighting and architectural features.
Examples of ineligible improvements, either in whole or in part, for Community Development Grant funding, include:
- Demolition of historic features;
- Signs (new or replacement);
- Parking Lot improvements;
- Structural repairs to roofing or flooring;
- Outdoor decks, patios or fences;
- Plumbing or electrical repairs.
Ineligible improvements include ordinary repair and maintenance, required improvements as a result of a violation notice or citation, site furnishings, amenities, non-permanent structures, and moveable equipment. Ordinary repair and maintenance is defined as “any work, the purpose and effect of which is to correct or prevent any deterioration or decay of, or damage to a structure, site or any part thereof, and to restore the structure or site, as nearly as may be practicable, to its condition prior to such deterioration, decay, or damage using materials which are of a design, color, and outer appearance as close to practicable as the original.”
Project must begin within forty-five (45) days of grant approval and be completed within six (6) months of approval. A reasonable extension may be granted based upon the good faith efforts of the applicant, through written request to the Community Development Manager and written approval from the Community Development Manager. Work may not be started by or on behalf of the applicant prior to the date of the grant award; such beginning disqualifies an applicant for grant consideration. The grant will be paid upon completion of the project, final inspection by Community Development Manager and/or the grant committee and presentation of paid invoices within two (2) weeks to the Community Development Manager.
- Rehabilitation of structures in Walhalla should be considered with respects to the architectural integrity of the entire front, retaining those elements that enhance the building.
- All rehabilitation design proposals will meet the zoning, building, and fire code requirements of the City of Walhalla.
- Any exterior renovation proposal – from an entire façade rehabilitation to maintenance items, such as repainting or replacing building parts – is eligible for funding, but top priority will be given to projects which will make a highly visible contribution to revitalization of the district.
- Colors should be chosen to coordinate with neighboring Contrasting colors which accent architectural details and entrances are encouraged (see Color Chart for suggested colors).
- Retention and repair of existing cornices is strongly encouraged wherever possible. Recreation of missing cornices should be done with care, using historic photographs as a guide.
- Side elevations and rear façades should be treated as seriously as main façades. The development of rear or side entrances with appropriate design is encouraged and should follow the stated guidelines.
- Grant applicants are fully responsible for all aspects of the project, any relationships with contractors and suppliers, and securing all necessary city permit approvals before the project begins.
Applications for the Community Development Grant Program can be obtained at City Hall, 206 N. Church Street. or online at www.cityofwalhalla.com. The Grant Period will remain open a long as there are available funds to support the Community Development Grant program. Completed applications must be delivered to the Walhalla City Hall at 206 N. Church Street or mailed to PO Box 1099, Walhalla, SC 29691. Only completed applications that include all required documentation and information will be accepted. The Community Development Manager will review the application for accuracy and completeness. The application will then be sent to the Community Development Grant Committee who will consider the application and determine eligibility. If the application receives approval, the applicant must enter into an agreement with the City.
Owner/tenant will complete the application and attach the following required documentation:
- A summary of the proposed project, including current condition and improvements planned;
- A minimum of two (2) color photographs of existing building condition/appearance;
- Photos, plans, or sketches of proposed improvements (assistance available if needed);
- Quotes, fee proposal, and any other back up material that supports the proposed budget;
- Owner’s permission, if necessary.
Owner/tenant will submit the completed application packet to the City of Walhalla’s Community Development Manager. The Community Development Grant Committee will review and either grant or deny the application. The Community Development Grant Committee reserves the right to deny an application based on their experience and to recommend alternatives in light of the current use of the building. A notification letter will be sent to the applicant stating whether the project has been accepted as described in the application, accepted with conditions, or rejected. If the application is rejected, it may be resubmitted with modifications.
The Community Development Grant Agreement must be signed upon approval and prior to beginning work. Parties in the agreement will be the applicant, building owner, and the Community Development Manager, who is authorized to sign on behalf of the City of Walhalla. Upon acceptance of the agreement, proof of contractor licenses and insurance must be provided prior to work commencing.
Any changes to the approved design must be submitted in writing to the Community Development Manager and receive written approval.
Upon project completion, copies of all of the applicant’s dated statements or invoices must be submitted to the Community Development Manager with proof of payment to the vendor such as a paid invoice or cancelled check.
The Community Development Manager and/or a qualified representative will inspect the completed work, and a check will be issued for the amount of the approved grant, provided the work is in accordance with the Agreement.
The Community Development Grant Committee will not use race, sex, age, or religion as grounds for refusing a grant to an eligible applicant. Grant recipients will agree to place a City of Walhalla Community Development Grant Recipient sign at the construction site, during the time of improvements and in their storefront window for 180 days after the completion of the project.
If you need more information or have questions about the Community Development Grant Program, please contact the Community Development Manager:
- by phone at (864)-638-4343
- by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- by mail at City of Walhalla, PO Box 1099, Walhalla SC 29691
- by appointment at Walhalla City Hall, 206 N Church Street, Walhalla SC 29691
Click here to download a copy of the Community Development Façade Grant Application.