Skip to Main Content
Downtown Tempe Facade Improvement Grant

The Façade Improvement Grant is a program administered by the Downtown Tempe Authority, with support and funding from the City of Tempe. This grant is designed to facilitate the DTA and the City’s mutual goal of increasing the economic and civic value of Downtown Tempe by helping commercial property owners and businesses make high-quality exterior improvements to their commercial buildings and property in Downtown Tempe.

What Are We Trying to Accomplish?

  • Encourage property investment that directly relates to improving the aesthetics of buildings and places in the Downtown Tempe Business Improvement District.
  • Enhance and impact the pedestrian experience Downtown by improving the exterior appearance or safety of buildings and commercial store fronts.
  • Help new and existing businesses succeed by enhancing their curb appeal.
  • Increase commercial property values Downtown.
  • Restore, Refurbish, Refresh, add Unique Charm, enhance Character of properties

What Kind of Projects Are Eligible?

Eligible participants include property owners or tenants of commercial buildings located within the Downtown Tempe Business Improvement District – see Area Map below. Business owners leasing space must have written approval from the property owner to participate in the program. The Façade Improvement Grant is available from August 2023 – July 2024. The Grant is designed for tenants who have a signed lease with a minimum term of 36 months to occupy ground-floor space.

Eligible improvements must contribute to the visual enhancement of the façade as visible from the street or public sidewalk. Examples of eligible improvements include:

  • Exterior painting and façade repair
  • Tuck-pointing and masonry repair
  • Window & door repair/replacement
  • Storefront repair/replacement
  • Canopies & awnings
  • High-quality Patio fencing
  • Exterior façade lighting
  • Fees for design and permitting
  • Public art from COT list (must include long term maintenance/funding plan)
  • Addition of patio or outdoor space
  • Plants and landscaping with maintenance program

Downtown Tempe Business Improvement District Area Map

Program Funding

The program will provide participants with the opportunity to receive a reimbursement of up to 50% of eligible improvement costs (if approved). The maximum amount for any individual grant award is $30,000 per individual business owner. The program is subject to available funding availability.

The maximum grant amount is capped at $30,000 per project, regardless of size or length of lease. Please note that the approved amount of a grant may be less than the maximum, depending on funding availability and eligible project expenditures. DTA staff will work with each applicant to confirm the total grant amount based on the scope of the work as presented in the application.

All projects should be permanent to the structure/façade and should remain as part of the property if the building is vacated, sold or applicant moves from property.

Final decisions of financial contributions, amount of grant and eligible projects will be made by the Grant Review Committee. Applications must be submitted by March 31, 2024 in order to be considered.

Who can apply for funding?

A commercial property/building owner or a business owner/tenant with authorization from the owner for improvements may apply for funding. The property should need repair, upgrade or refresh. Special consideration will be given to owners/tenants that can demonstrate a need for repair, upgrade or refresh and can demonstrate financial need for applying for the Façade Improvement Grant.

Application Process

Step 1 >> Schedule a pre-application information session

Applicants are required to attend a pre-application meeting to review the program requirements, application checklist, approval process, etc. and address any questions from the applicant. This meeting should be approximately three to four weeks prior to the submission of the application.

Please contact Lori Foster at or 480-355-6067 to schedule.

Step 2 >> Complete and submit a formal application

Reference the application and checklist (links below). Electronic copy of submission materials can be sent to

Step 3 >> Application review process

The Downtown Tempe Façade Improvement Grant committee meets monthly to review submitted applications and you will be notified of grant status within 40 days of application submittal. The committee will review each application for completeness and will be evaluated on project budget, design plan, total linear feet of storefront to be improved as well as the grant rubric.

Step 4 >> Notice to Proceed

Following approval by the Grant committee, the committee will issue a formal “Notice to Proceed.” Any work initiated BEFORE the “Notice to Proceed” will NOT be eligible for reimbursement.

Work must be completed within six (6) months of the stated start date unless otherwise noted in application. Please note that an approved Façade Improvement Grant may be canceled if your project does not meet this deadline if applicant fails to apply for an extension. This is a reimbursable grant. You are responsible for documenting all expenses and submitting paid receipts to the DTA upon work completion. All work must be consistent with the approved grant application and DTA staff must approve any changes in work scope or materials in advance of that work being performed. If project costs exceed overall project cost reported in application, applicant is only eligible for reimbursement of costs as submitted & approved with grant. All work must be done by a licensed contractor.

Step 5 >> Secure Permits

Following “Notice to Proceed” approval, but prior to work starting, the applicant must secure all required building or development permits. Note that grant funding is contingent upon receipt of City of Tempe permits/approvals.

Step 6 >> Submit copies of bills for reimbursement

The applicant must submit copies of paid bills, canceled checks, contractor lien waivers and receipts to DTA for reimbursement. A receipt plus photos of the completed work will be needed for each reimbursement. The line item within the application that the work applied to should also be referenced.

Step 7 >> Grant Committee/DTA Inspection

Members of the Grant committee or DTA will inspect the completed project to ensure that work was performed as outlined in application. This inspection does not replace or supersede any additional inspections that may be required by the City of Tempe.

Step 8 >> Reimbursement

Once all paperwork and inspections have been completed, applicant will be reimbursed up to the approved amount. Work must be completed within six (6) months of the stated start date unless otherwise noted in application and approved by grant committee.

Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated and approved by the Review Committee. Applications will first be ranked on:

  • Completeness of application
  • Eligibility of business/property
  • Eligibility of proposed improvements

The Review Committee will then evaluate the applications that meet the criteria above according to the evaluation rubric linked below.

Facade Grant Application & Checklist

Facade Grant Evaluation Rubric

Downtown Tempe Facade Improvement Grant Flyer

For more information, contact Lori Foster at or 480.355.6067


Sign Up for Updates