The revitalization of a neglected commercial district or residential neighborhood can often begin though improvements to a single building or storefront. Even simple changes such as the removal of non-historic materials, repairs, or a new paint job that calls attention to the building’s original architectural details signal positive change and often stimulate similar improvements in neighboring buildings.
The City should consider using UEZ funding to establish a façade improvement program to provide incentives to encourage property owners and businesses to improve the exterior appearance of their buildings and storefronts. The focus should be on established commercial centers, preferably within the Priority Investment Neighborhoods. In addition, the City should be sure to provide design assistance to property owners, which will reduce the cost to the property owner and ensure that the building modifications comply with design guidelines and/or enhance the neighborhood character in the target area.
The Camden Business Façade Improvement Program helps qualified business owners to finance the reconstruction and rehabilitation of their façades while conforming with the applicable design standards for the neighborhood where the business is located.
Supported by the Camden Urban Enterprise Zone, the Facade Improvement Program offers grants up to $25,000. Business must be a certified member of the Camden UEZ program and must complete a Business Registration Certificate with New Jersey Office of Taxation.
The Program supports the following efforts: Front facing roof/awning, painting (limited to historical color pallet or fixed color pallet), brick pointing & masonry repair, window replacement, entry door replacement, step repair/replacement, railing repair and replacement, bilko or basement door repair /replacement, new/improved signage, lighting, removal of roll down gates & replacement with new ornamental security gates, restoration of tin/metal bays and trim, limited landscaping, limited fencing, and limited parking lot repair