Help enhance Old Town Lafayette and apply for the Lafayette Uban Renewal Authority (LURA) Old Town Facade Improvement grant. Financial assistance is available to business and property owners who wish to make exterior improvements to commercial and residential buildings within the Old Town Urban Renewal District.
The LURA Old Town Facade Improvement Program enhances and preserves the unique character of Old Town Lafayette, improves the economic vitality and marketability of the downtown, and creates an inviting downtown environment that will encourage visitors to stay in Old Town for extended periods of time.
Any owner or tenant of a commercial or residential building within the Old Town Urban Renewal District can use grant funds for improvements made to building facades that are visible to the public from the street, sidewalk, or alley.
The applicant must provide a minimum 50% match for any amount awarded. This grant is eligible for projects up to $30,000 ($15,000 LURA match and $15,000 Owner match). Less than 50% owner match may be considered due to great community benefit or financial hardship. Projects over $30,000 are welcomed and will be considered by the full LURA board and not the sub-committee.
Download the Old Town Facade Improvement Program guide and application. You can also complete your application online.
Only improvements made to building facades visible to the public from the street, sidewalk, or alley are eligible.
All facade improvements should comply with the Old Town Design Guidelines in addition to all necessary land use and/or permit approvals.
- Restoration and cleaning of masonry, including brick, stone, and concrete. Power washing is discouraged as a method to clean brick on any building receiving grant funding
- Repair or replacement of windows. If windows are the original, historic windows, the repair is preferred
- Lighting attached to the building that accentuates signage or other significant architectural details of the building. All lighting will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure it complements the building facade
- Restoration and repair of original architectural details of the building, such as the cornice and window details
- Removal of inappropriate façade materials
- Installation or repair of awnings
- Repair of doors or replacement of doors where it is found the proposed door complements the building facade.
- Painting. The color should take into consideration the surrounding buildings and the character of the Facade Program Area. Painting over the brick is discouraged. Public art murals may be considered depending on design, scale, and how it improves the facade.
- Signage. All signage will be reviewed to ensure that it complements the building and the character of the Facade Program Area. Eligible signage may include projecting signs, storefront signs, or restoration of original architectural signs. Generally, signage should not cover distinct architectural features of a building. An approved Sign Permit from the City of Lafayette must be provided with the grant application.
- Architectural design assistance for an applicant to enlist an architect to provide recommendations on appropriate improvements to the building.
Building permit fees and other administrative fees that may be required by the City are not eligible for grant funding.
Applications are reviewed by the LURA Facade Improvement Sub-Committee on a rolling basis and based on the funding availability. Upon the grant award, projects must be completed within 180 days of Notice to Proceed or issuance of building permit—whichever is later—unless it receives an extension approval from the LURA Executive Director.
Preference will be given to projects that have a high visible impact on a public street and for projects that seek to restore architecturally significant features of a building. The following criteria will specifically be taken into account by the LURA Façade Improvement Sub-Committee when reviewing grant applications:
- Compliance with the Downtown Architectural Standards for Old Town Urban Renewal Area, if applicable.
- Instances where an immediate renovation would stop serious deterioration of the building’s façade, or where architecturally significant features contributing to the building’s character are in danger of being lost.
- Projects that would restore the historic features of a building; if historic features cannot be restored, features that are being removed or altered should have high degree of aesthetic appeal and be complementary to the surrounding Facade Program Area.
- Projects that align with the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Urban Design Principles – Old Town Mixed Use area (pages 158-162)
- Projects that demonstrate the ability to attract people to Old Town
- Projects that would result in significant new investment and the creation of jobs in the Façade Program Area.
- Projects involving buildings with vacant or underutilized spaces where the overall marketability of the building would be improved.
- Applications that demonstrate the applicant’s capacity to complete the project.
Additional Grant Requirements
The applicant shall comply with all applicable provisions of the City of Lafayette Municipal Code and the International Building Codes enforced by the City. By submitting a Facade Program Application, the applicant agrees to allow the City to inspect the building for Code compliance. Applicants shall obtain all required building permits prior to starting work on the project.
Municipal Code violations discovered after the project acceptance will not result in disqualification from the Façade Program, but corrections of such violations shall be incorporated into the project. LURA retains the right to withhold reimbursements from the applicant until such violations are corrected to the satisfaction of City staff.
- Schedule a pre-application meeting or site visit by emailing three available meeting times to Brigid Keating, LURA Executive Director. During this meeting, you will discuss the proposed project and any requirements.
- Complete the online application available in English and Spanish. If you prefer, you can print the application and email your completed application to Brigid Keating. Your application must include:
- Architectural renderings, site plans, and/or other visual representations of the proposed improvements. For paint, a paint sample of the proposed color should be provided.
- Photos of all sides of the building facade that grant funding is being requested for.
- Two estimates/bids from contractors; facade painting does not require contractor estimates. One estimate may be acceptable if approved by LURA Executive Director.
- The property owner shall submit proof of ownership of the building.
The LURA Executive Director will notify applicants of contingent award.