Beaverton to provide grants for businesses and property owners
Business and property owners in Beaverton can apply for the latest round of improvement programs with the city.
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, Beaverton announced its storefront and tenant improvement grant programs. The storefront improvement program offers architectural design services and construction matching grants to help businesses improve their curb appeal to draw in more customers.
Business and property owners located in Old Town or along Allen Boulevard are eligible for matching grants towards exterior improvements for this specific program, according to the city's website.
Beaverton's development project manager Megan Braunsten says the city focused on those locations because it is using urban renewal funds, and the renewal area has different pockets and districts within it.
"A lot of the program had to be within one of those pockets, and having a downtown enriched and improved by these types of projects really helps," Braunsten said. "Also, Metro has identified the Allen Boulevard district as a town center."
She added, "We have been working with Allen Boulevard residents and business owners and property owners for several years now trying to identify how we can bring about some improvements to that neighborhood, and this seems like one of the first and more most easy things we could do was bring this to that area."
Within the storefront program, two funding options are available: design and improvement grants.
The design grant is 100% funded by the city, and a city-contracted architect is available to help prospective applicants develop a concept and create a scope of work that can be sent to contracts to obtain bids.
As for how much the grant is for, Braunsten says funding can be up to $75,000, which is paid directly to the architect and not the applicant.
"We start off with three potential designs that then the applicants can say, 'I like this from the first design and this from the second design,' and ultimately whittle it down to one final design that we then send out," she said. "The architects then help us get quotes from three contractors and help make sure that they're apples-to-apples bids, because sometimes different contractors bid things out slightly different."
Once the process is finished, the applicant decides if he or she would like to save up or immediately start with the new storefront design process.
Beaverton provides a 50% to 70% matching grant to assist with commercial building exterior improvements. City officials say the maximum funding for the grant is $50,000.
"Having the buildings improve in our downtown really helps increase the vibrancy of downtown and makes people want to come down and see what new thing that has happened, which makes people want to walk around and shop," said Braunsten. "It gives residents of Beaverton some real pride in their downtown."
As for other funding, Beaverton also offers a tenant improvement program. The program offers architectural design services and construction matching grants to help improve food and drink-based businesses.
The design and improvement grants are also offered under this program, but the business and property owners must be in Old Town Beaverton. The same rules also apply for this program, including the max funding amount of $50,000.
"We have found that these grant programs can be a great recruitment tool to bring in the types of businesses we're wanting in downtown Beaverton," Braunsten said. "Therefore, new restaurants are welcome to apply, either for the storefront or tenant improvement program anytime they want."
For everyone else that is interested in the programs, the deadline to apply is Friday, March 12. As for the second round of funding, those applications are due later in the year on Saturday, Sept. 11.
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