Facade Improvements BIG Grant

Façade Improvement BIG Grant for exterior projects


About the Grant

The Façade Improvement BIG Grant provides technical and financial assistance to restore exterior facades, signage, lighting, and life-safety systems for commercial buildings. The City will provide a fifty percent matching grant to reimburse up to $20,000 of well-designed property improvements. An additional fifty percent matching grant to reimburse up to $5,000 for construction of monument-type signage or the removal and replacement of non-conforming signs. The applicant’s match may be in the form of other financial aid (grant or loan) received from other agencies or financial institutions, but may not be “in-kind.”

The BIG Grant Program will only reimburse applicants after the project is determined to have been completed in accordance with the contract and the applicant has paid his/her architect, contractor and vendor(s) in full.

Improvements funded by the program must be compatible with the character and architecture of the individual property, and must meet current City standards with regard to occupant safety. Historical or architecturally significant features shall be restored and maintained. Improvements to properties without such features should be seen as an opportunity to substantially enhance the appearance of the properties and adjacent streetscapes. Properties should be oriented to the pedestrian and provide visual interest both day and night. Effort should be made to promote accessibility and to create a property identity unique to San Marcos or the respective neighborhood.

Eligible Improvements

  • Restoration of exterior details in historically contributing or significant buildings, and removal of elements that conceal architectural details, including cleaning, repainting or residing of building;

  • New storefront construction, appropriately scaled within an existing building, that is in substantial conformance with all applicable provisions of the San Marcos Land Development Code;

  • Awnings or canopies in character with the building and streetscape;

  • Lighting that is visually appealing and appropriately illuminates signage, storefront window displays, and recessed areas of a building façade;

  • Window replacement and window framing visible from the street and appropriately scaled to the building;

  • Signage that is attractively integrated into the architecture of the building, including the window area, awnings or canopies, and entryways, and the removal and replacement of non-conforming signs;

  • Installation of monument signage, and the removal and replacement of non-conforming signs;

  • Curbing, irrigation, approved trees, landscaping beds (not including planting material) or other landscape features attached to the building where appropriate, not to exceed twenty percent (20%) of the project budget;

  • Removal of architectural barriers to public accessibility;

  • Installation of fire sprinklers or other life-safety systems in historically or architecturally significant buildings; and

  • Other improvements that meet the objectives of the BIG Grant Program

Download the Façade Improvements BIG Grant Guidelines here. You can submit your application using the online form below or by downloading this form.

Business Improvement & Growth (BIG) Grant Application

  1. Business Improvement & Growth (BIG) Grant Application
  2. Business Organization*
  3. Relationship of Applicant to the property to be renovated*
  4. Please provide contact information for the design professional responsible for your drawings, plans, and permits
  5. Acknowledgement Statement

    The undersigned hereby represents and certifies to the best of his/her knowledge and beliefs that the information contained on this statement and any exhibits or attachments hereto are true and complete and accurately describe the proposed project, and the undersigned agrees to promptly inform the City of San Marcos Economic & Business Development Manager of any changes in the proposed project which may occur. The City of San Marcos reserves the right to terminate any agreement under the BIG Grant Program if a participant is found to be in violation of any conditions set forth in these guidelines or if the project has been started prior to an executed agreement with the City of San Marcos.

  6. As applicable: Proof of ownership, Certificate of Occupancy, written permission from building owner, expiration date of lease, etc.

  7. Leave This Blank:

  8. This field is not part of the form submission.