Since 2000, DSDC has offered an incentive rebate initiative designed to encourage renovation of downtown’s older properties. A fresh coat of paint, modern permanent awnings (cloth and vinyl awnings will not be considered), and updated windows and doors can significantly improve a building’s façade.
DSDC works to encourage renovation through its matching dollar for dollar rehabilitation program. Property owners can apply for a reimbursement grant, the amount of which will be awarded based on the total cost of the project, the historic importance of the project, the visibility of the project and other factors.
***Properties with known structural issues will not be eligible for facade improvement grants until their structural issues are corrected.***
Applications will be reviewed and given special consideration for meeting the following criteria:
- High Visual Impact – We want this work to be seen and the more prominent, the better. We are looking for a dramatic difference on the face of downtown.
- Lasting Improvement – We prefer high quality improvements that will be durable, not simply landscaping that can die or a canvas awning that will become sunbleached and ripped. Think of brick and mortar improvements and permanent awnings that will be around in 10 years.
- Historic Integrity/Architectural Character – We want to preserve and restore our historic buildings to the level of the Secretary of the Interior’s standards for Rehabilitation, when possible. We will not award grants to designs that obscure or cover original architectural detailing.
- Context Sensitive Materials, Color Selection, Building Mass & Proportions – Think of where you are and what is around you. Research original materials and colors. Does your bilding’s size fit into the buildings around you? For non-historic structures, we are looking for designs that respond to or reinforce surrounding historic attributes. The Robinson Film Center, 617 Texas, is a great example–distinctly modern but respectful of its historic context.
- Pedestrian Friendly Design & Detail – The street level of your building should be designed to engage pedestrians. Building facades should be composed of elements scaled to promote pedestrian comfort, safety and to reinforce a ‘human scale.’
- Active Street Fronts – Building Facades should not have large blank walls facing the street, especially near sidewalks. Doors, windows (that you can see through, without bars) and active businesses are desirable to encourage safety and pedestrian friendliness.
Eligible improvements include but may not be limited to:
- Brick or wall surface cleaning
- Patching and painting of facade walls
- Canopy, porch, awning (permanent materials only) repair/replacement
- Lighting repair/replacement
- Window/door replacement/repair
- Mortar joint repair
- Railings, ironwork repair or addition
- Cornice repair/replacement
- A completed application must be submitted and approved prior to work beginning. The application must include before photos and renderings of what the ‘after’ look will be.
- If the application is being made by someone other than the property owner, written permission from the property owner must be submitted with the application.
- The completed application and accompanying documentation must be submitted to DSDC offices at 416 Cotton Street, Shreveport, LA. 71101, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The building must be located in the Downtown Development District.
- Two 8×10 “before” color photographs must be submitted with the application (copies are fine).
- Two color copies of the proposed design showing improvements and contractor-provided cost estimates MUST be submitted with your application.
- It is suggested that architectural design be done by a licensed architect.
- Your grant must be approved prior to any work being done.
- Once work is completed, you must submit paid receipts for all work associated with the facade improvements and two 8×10 color copies showing the ‘after’ of the completed project.
- If your project is approved, DSDC will issue a grant up to 25% of the qualified facade costs of your building. The exact amount to be granted will be determined by the DSDC.
NOTE: The Louisiana Historic Preservation Office should approve the proposed design for any property listed on the National Register. Contact them at: (225) 342-8160.