Commercial Exterior Grant Program

City of West St. Paul Economic Development Authority (EDA)
Commercial Exterior Grant Program

The purpose of the program is to encourage commercial building owners to reinvest in their properties and make improvements to the exteriors of commercial buildings thereby enhancing the esthetics of commercial districts.

Matching Grant:

  • Minimum allowed is $5,000
  • Maximum allowed is $10,000
  • Owners are eligible for only one grant per year.

Eligible Properties:

  • Businesses that are zoned for commercial uses, as shown in the Comprehensive Plan.
  • Properties that are not the recipient of tax increment financing, tax abatement or other City financing programs.

Eligible Owners:

  • Only an existing building owner is eligible to apply.

Eligible Projects:

  • Exteriors and façade improvements for existing buildings and additions, such as patio installation for customer use, signage and awnings.

Ineligible Projects:

  • Land acquisition, financing fees, landscaping, sidewalks, refinancing of existing debt, personal property, working capital, machinery, interior remodeling, roof repair, electrical and plumbing upgrades, energy upgrades, HVAC systems, furniture and fixtures, previously completed projects, and projects started prior to EDA approval.

Application Deadline:

  • Applications will be accepted year-round on a first-come, first-served basis.

Application Process:

  • Applicant should contact primary lending institution to determine private financing, if any.
  • Applicant will meet with City staff to obtain program information/application forms and discuss the project.
  • Applicant will complete and submit the application to City staff.
  • City staff will review the application for completeness and to determine if it conforms to program guidelines.
  • Economic Development Authority (EDA) will consider approval or denial of all applications.

Selection Criteria - Applications will be reviewed and analyzed against the following criteria:

  • Location within the City, i.e. preference to redevelopment area or heavily commercialized area with high visibility.
  • Ability to encourage improvements to surrounding businesses.
  • Ability to improve the appearance and attractiveness of an area.
  • Consistency with Comprehensive and Robert Street Plans.
  • Compliance with City Codes.
  • Building owners who have not previously been awarded a grant will be considered before those who have already received grant funding.

Project Completion:

  • The project is to be completed within 180 days (6 months) from the approval date.

Disbursement Process - Payment to the applicant will be made upon completion of work following:

  • Inspection by City staff to verify completion of work and code compliance.
  • Submittal of paid invoices for the work outlined in the application.
  • Verification of payment of all permits and closed by the Building Official.
  • Property taxes are current.
Apply for the Commercial Exterior Grant Program