The City of Evanston’s Economic Development Division will be holding a Façade Improvement Program Informational Session on Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center. The Façade Improvement Program provides financial assistance to commercial property owners and tenants to improve and enhance the exterior of buildings.

The city revised the program last Fall and is now rolling out the revised program for 2011. The city will be accepting applications three times in 2011 and holding informational sessions during each application period.

“The Façade Improvement Program is designed to promote commercial activity throughout Evanston. The eligible exterior improvements help improve a business’ ability to bring in new customers and can support property owners’ efforts to attract new tenants,” explained the City of Evanston’s Director of Community and Economic Development Steve Griffin.

Eligible participants are business owners (tenants) and commercial property owners. Eligible projects could include painting, tuck pointing, installation of new lights, restoration of historic details, new awnings/signage and replacement of doors and/or windows.

How the program works

The program provides financial assistance to property owners on a 50/50 cost sharing basis. Participants submit an application to the city, staff then presents applications to the Economic Development Committee for review and lastly the City Council acts on the recommendations of the committee. Individuals could be eligible for up to $10,000 (in some cases more) in cost sharing for project completion.

What will be covered in the Informational Session of the Façade Improvement Program

This Orientation and Informational Session on the City of Evanston’s Façade Improvement Program will provide an overview of the program, how to apply and information about the city’s public approval process. The meeting will also be an opportunity to ask city staff questions.

The meeting is Tuesday, January 4, 2011, 6 p.m., Room 2100, Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave. Visit the Economic Development Division online at and click “Economic Development” for additional information on the program or call 847/448-8100.