Requirements, Terms & Conditions

Requirements, Terms, and Conditions

General Guidelines

Grants may be awarded for up to 50 percent of the total cost of a qualified façade rehabilitation, repair or restoration project, with a maximum grant award of up to $1,000 per one foot of street or alley frontage per project.  The minimum grant request is $250.  The annual budget for this program is $75,000.00.

The applicant must match the grant with cash.  “Sweat equity” labor provided by the applicant, the owner, or any other non-skilled laborer cannot be charged against this grant.  No building may receive more than two grants per fiscal year, and no applicant may receive more than five grants per year.

Grants will be awarded on a reimbursement basis only after the applicant demonstrates full compliance with the grant award.  

Each eligible façade improvement may be phased over two fiscal years in order to maximize grant assistance.  Each phase shall involve façade improvements not included in any other phase of the project.  Reimbursement may then be approved for each phase.    

This grant may be treated as income subject to Federal Income Tax provisions.  The Town of Normal is not liable for any tax implications resulting from the grant.  Applicants should consult a tax advisor for clarification.    

Program Eligibility

The Moratz Façade Improvement Grant Program seeks to encourage façade improvements ranging from minor projects to complete façade renovation.  The Grant Program will not fund projects that constitute routine maintenance, nor will the grant fund projects on the building interior.  The following list illustrates the types of projects that may be funded by this grant program.

 All exterior walls of building, with priority given to street-facing facades.

  1. Exterior renovation, restoration, or reconstruction, including but not limited to the following:  
    1. Facade washing/Brick cleaning
    2. Tuck pointing
    3. Removal of historically inappropriate materials from facades
    4. Sign repair if sign is integral to building façade
    5. New signs if the proposed sign is a high-quality representation of signs displayed in the historic era generally found in Uptown Normal
    6. Lighting
    7. Awnings/canopies
    8. Window restoration or replacement
    9. Painting
    10. Door replacement
    11. Restoration of original architectural features
  2. Architectural design fees up to $1,000, as long as the project is completed
  3. Landscaping

Grants will not be awarded for projects that may damage the building façade.  Specifically, sandblasting of brick will not be funded under the program nor will the program participate in projects that include sandblasting of brick.  Grant funds may not be used for improvements completed or in progress prior to notification of grant approval.

Restoration projects that accurately replicate historic architectural elements shall be given funding priority.  Preference may be given to structures of architectural or historic significance as determined by the Uptown Design Review Commission.  Approval may be contingent upon the Uptown Design Review Commission finding that the proposed project is in substantial compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings if the Commission deems the building to have architectural or historic significance.

Properties lacking architectural or historic significance may be deemed eligible for the program if proposed changes will create a façade typical of the architectural periods predominantly represented in downtown Normal. 

Grant funds will be disbursed only upon completion of the project and submission of lien waivers from all laborers and material suppliers.

Exterior improvements must comply with the Town of Normal Uptown Design Ordinance set forth in Section 15, Division 17 of the code and with all other applicable Town codes and regulations.   

Eligible Participants

Owners and tenants (with permission from the building owner) of commercial or mixed commercial-residential property located in the B-2 District may apply for funds. Tenants must have at least a two-year lease at the location in order to qualify for the grant program.

Commercial buildings are those buildings with commercial uses on the first floor.  Residential uses are allowed above the main floor.

Only structurally sound buildings with safely functioning mechanical/electrical/plumbing systems will be considered for grants.  In addition, the building Owner must show evidence of insurance on the property and name the Town an additional insured to the extent of any grant funds awarded.

Additional Grant Provisions

Grants will be accepted on a rolling basis.

 Neither the Town nor the members of the Uptown Design Review Commission are liable for damage to the building or personal injury that occurs during the project.  

 All contractors and subcontractors used for work funded by this grant must be licensed if required by law and must be able to demonstrate qualifications.  

 The Illinois Prevailing Wage Act (820 ILCS 130/) applies to this Contract. Not less than the prevailing wage shall be paid to all laborers, workers, and mechanics performing work under the Contract.

 The listing of the current prevailing wage rates is available from the Illinois Department of Labor website:

 Notice of this requirement must be included in all subcontracts and lower-tiered contracts. Additionally, all contractors and subcontractors are required to comply with all non-wage requirements of the Prevailing Wage Act including, but not limited to, notice requirements, record-keeping duties, drug policy, and certified payroll submissions.

 No Town officer, employee, spouse, or dependent of the same shall be interested directly or indirectly in any facade grant. 

 No grant funds shall be assigned or pledged to any third party, nor be used for any purpose other than reimbursement of project costs as approved by the Design Commission.

 No grant recipient may engage in unlawful discrimination nor contract with any person or entity that engages in unlawful discrimination, as defined by the Normal Human Rights Ordinance.

Grant Denial/Partial Funding

The Uptown Design Review Commission reserves the right to deny any grant application or approve only partial funding of a grant request.