Alton Main Street is excited to launch its new Façade Improvement Grant (FIG) Program. This initiative is designed to assist property and business owners in Downtown Alton with rehabilitating the facades of their buildings for the purpose of creating a positive visual impact, stimulating private investment, and complementing other community development efforts.

Research has shown that exterior building improvements result in an increase in sales. Additionally, improvements motivate owners and tenants of other properties in surrounding areas to make similar investments. “The organization’s goal is to provide an incentive that encourages improvements to building exteriors which are visible from public streets and sidewalks,” said John Gajewski, Chair of Alton Main Street’s Economic Vitality Committee.

Improvement projects that are eligible to receive the grant include, but are not limited to: storefronts, exterior painting, signage, awnings, accent lighting. A total of $2,000 is available to be awarded in grant funding for the initial round, which the organization hopes to repeat in the future. Grants are required to have a 1:1 match.

Interested property owners as well as tenants with owner’s permission are eligible for the program. In order to be eligible for the FIG Program, buildings must be located within the Alton Main Street district boundary, bordered roughly by Landmarks Blvd., William Street, Belle St., 9th Street, Piasa Street, and Broadway to Pearl Street. (see map below)

“Alton Main Street can assist applicants with learning about the City of Alton’s façade grant program which could potentially be an additional source of funding,” said Sara McGibany, Executive Director, adding, “We would be happy to provide introductions to historic preservationists and other professionals to advise them on their project.”

Guiding design principles for rehabilitation and renovation activities within the Downtown district are available to help business and property owners make sound investment decisions in building improvements while enhancing the area’s historic character.