Facade, Signage & Lighting Program
Facade, Signage and Lighting Improvement Program provides technical and financial assistance to property owners or tenants seeking to renovate or restore commercial building exterior facades. The Program seeks to improve the physical appearance of independent businesses and enhance the commercial districts of Cambridge.
- Reimbursement grants range from $2,500 to $15,000.
- Completed projects this fiscal year include Puritan & Company at Inman Square and Guilia Restaurant in Harvard Square.
- We are accepting applications for FY2014 design services and reimbursement grants.
- Façade, Signage & Lighting Improvement Program reimbursements grants are 50% up to $15,000 in FY2014, depending on the scope of work.
The Facade, Signage and Lighting Improvement Program provides technical and financial assistance to property owners or tenants seeking to renovate or restore commercial building exterior facades. The Program seeks to improve the physical appearance of independent businesses and enhance the commercial districts of Cambridge.
The Program provides a matching grant for facade improvements, which may include restoration of architectural details, better windows and doors, and well-proportioned signage and lighting. An architectural consultant retained by the City can provide assistance to applicants through the conceptual design stage, at no cost to applicants. Large scale projects may require a licensed architect and contractor to refine a conceptual design and to implement the City-approved plans.
Upgrading the image of a commercial district and storefront requires the evaluation of each proposed improvement within the local historical and architectural context. Designers must coordinate all elements of the building facade in an approach that respects the building’s location and neighboring structures and makes a noticeable visual improvement.
Please note that improvements made prior to approval of a design and contract by the Program's review committee will not be funded. Reimbursement grant limits vary from year-to-year. Please contact Chris Basler the Program Manager at 617/349-4601 for information on the current funding limits.
To participate in the Facade, Signage and Lighting Improvement Program business owners must complete the Facade and Signage Improvement Program Guidelines and Application Form.
Click here for a photo gallery of past participants of the facade and sigage program.
Map of project locations.
Cambridge Energy Alliance
The Cambridge Energy Alliance (CEA) is a city-sponsored nonprofit group. The CEA was created to save residents and business owners money on utility bills and maintenance expenses, while reducing Cambridge’s carbon footprint and creating jobs in the city. The Program offers practical solutions that will lead to comprehensive results. For more information, please visit the Cambridge Energy Alliance web site.
Disabled Access Tax Credit
For further information contact the Internal Revenue Service by visiting their website at www.IRS.gov or by calling 800/829-4933. Additional information can be found by visiting the American with Disabilities Act website or calling the ADA Information Line at 800/514-0301 or TTY 800/514-0383.
Federal Tax Incentives for Preserving Historic Properties
Federal historic preservation tax incentives are available for any qualified project that the Secretary of the Interior designates as a certified rehabilitation of a certified historic structure. For more information, please visit the National Park Service’s website.
Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit
State historic preservation tax incentives are available for qualified projects that the Massachusetts Historical Commission designates as a certified rehabilitation of a certified historic structure. For more information, please visit the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s website.
For More Information
If you wish to participate in the Façade/Signage Improvement Program, please contact Chris Basler contact Chris Basler, email@example.com, at 617/349-4601.