Façade grants available for Pickens businesses

By Nicole Daughhetee

Courier Staff

PICKENS — The City of Pickens Façade Improvement Grant Program is accepting applications from May 1 through July 1, 2013.

Established as part of the Pickens Revitalization Association (PRA), the Façade Improvement Grant Program (FIGP) supports revitalization of the city’s Overlay Districts by stimulating private investments in high-quality improvements that enhance the appearance of buildings and properties and eliminate blight and non-conforming design standards.

Those commercial property owners and business owners in the City Center and Gateway Overlay Districts that apply and qualify for the FIGP receive financial assistance for façade improvements.

The FIGP provides for a one-time reimbursement grant with the amount not to exceed $5,000, with the business owner providing a match of 50 percent. For example, if the applicant is awarded a grant in the amount of $5,000, the business owner will have to match $2,500 toward façade improvements, making total improvements $7,500.

Boundaries of the City Center Overlay District include Main Street from Hampton Avenue to Bivens Street; Court Street from Main Street to Cedar Rock; Garvin Street from Main Street to Cedar Rock; Ann St./Hwy. 178N from Main Street to Baker Street; Hampton Ave./Hwy. 8 from Main Street to Baker Street; and Pendleton Street from Main Street to W. Lee Street.

The Gateway Overlay District boundaries are established as all properties that have frontage on highways 183, 178 and 8 that are not located in the City Center.

Businesses awarded a Façade Improvement Grant have a variety of opportunities to make aesthetic improvements to their commercial sites.

Eligible improvement options include overall exterior building upgrades and can be cosmetic and (or) structural; signage; lighting; or landscaping.

Through the FIGP, the Pickens Revitalization Program provides local businesses with the resources they need to make changes to the appearance of their buildings.

With consistent improvement, the downtown area becomes, more and more, a place that others want to visit and this is definitely a winning scenario for every downtown business.

Applications for the FIGP are available at City Hall in Pickens or are electronically accessible via their website under the Economic Development tab.

Interested persons can also find more information regarding the rules, program overview, and application at

The Pickens Revitalization Association is available to assist potential applicants and answer questions at 878-0105.