Brookfield Offers Grants To Improve Commercial Properties

If you own commercial property in one of the village’s Progressive Tax Finance (FIT) districts and plan to make improvements to the exterior of the building, parking lot, or landscaping, you may be eligible for a village grant of up to $ 20,000. the cost.

In April, Brookfield’s Department of Community and Economic Development quietly launched a new Property improvement program (PIP) to encourage owners of commercial buildings in Eight Corners, Downtown and Ogden Avenue FITs to improve their buildings.

The village council has set aside $ 100,000 this year in each of the FITs to fund projects that qualify for the program, which can be found on the village’s website

Michael Schwarz, who stepped down last week as the village’s director of community development, started the program based on similar programs in towns like Lincolnwood, Oak Park and Plainfield.

Such an initiative has been on the village’s radar since administrators adopted Brookfield’s Comprehensive Plan in 2018, and funds were budgeted in the 2020 budget for such a program, but they were set aside due to a combination. personnel changes and the pandemic.

“The comprehensive plan talks about improving the Ogden Avenue corridor and business districts,” Schwarz said. “By using TIF districts as a tool, we have a way to do this.”

The PIP is not intended for new construction or building additions, interior improvements or routine maintenance projects.

Rather, the 50-50 Matching Grants are intended to encourage homeowners to make substantial improvements to the appearance of a building or property.

Project costs eligible for reimbursement under the program include exterior improvements that will enhance the character of a building; replacement of storefront elements such as doors, windows and moldings; removal of inappropriate architectural elements from buildings and restoration of original elements of buildings; replace signs and awnings; re-roof visible surfaces with non-standard materials (such as shake or slate); extensive repair / restoration of original masonry and major exterior painting projects.

Other eligible projects include planting trees, shrubs and ground covers; Landscaped parking islands and for dedicated outdoor terraces / dining areas.

To start the process, owners must submit a request outlining the proposed improvements and meet with village staff to discuss the scope of the work. Village staff will then review the application and forward it to the village council for review and approval.

Once approved by the administrators, the village will issue an official letter of approval for the project and the amount of the grant. Homeowners must obtain at least three quotes for work and obtain building permits.

Once the project is complete, the village will inspect the property and verify the costs before reimbursing the owner.

The village will also require any owner approved for a grant to maintain the improvements for five years. Otherwise, the village will recover a percentage of the grant.

Upcoming green improvement scholarships

In addition, the village of Brookfield will soon be launching a program called Green Infrastructure for Tomorrow (GIFT). Similar to PIP, 50-50 Reimbursement Grants are open to owners of commercial properties in any of Brookfield’s TIF districts.

The process for obtaining a GIFT grant is the same as the PIP initiative, but can be used for sustainable construction projects, like installation of solar panels, energy efficient lighting, green roofs, rain gardens and rain barrels, native plantations, parking lots of permeable pavers, energy-efficient windows, doors and furnaces.

Details of the GIFT program are still being finalized, including the maximum match amount, but the program is expected to roll out in the near future, Schwarz said.

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