The objective of the Downtown Jonesborough Façade & Architectural Improvement Grant Program (Façade Grant) is to provide incentives to improve the façade of buildings in an area within the Downtown Historic District in Jonesborough. By improving the appearance of building façades, the program serves to increase the economic viability of this area. Improved aesthetics also increase property values, enhance the marketability of space within the buildings, eliminate blight and draw businesses and residents to the area.
The Downtown Façade Grant is administered by the Town of Jonesborough (TOJ).
Certain commercial and mixed-use properties located in the Downtown Historic District are eligible for the façade improvement program noted in the map below. Please note that in the event that the Downtown Historic District boundaries change, the Downtown Jonesborough Façade & Architectural Improvement Grant Program boundaries will change as well. Buildings not eligible for the grant program include any non-conforming uses.
All proposed renovations must receive a Certificate of Appropriateness by the Historic Zoning Commission prior to commencement of any work. Eligible properties and their owners will be considered for reimbursement, up to $2,500 per property, for eligible façade improvements. The applicant is eligible for a 50% reimbursement on expenses equal to or less than $5,000.
Grants will be evaluated and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Applicants must be current on all taxes, mortgages, and insurance for the proposed project site. Projects that have been approved but have failed to commence the proposed renovations within six (6) months of approval of the project shall have to reapply and meet the eligibility requirements as set forth in the current Façade Grant.
Examples of eligible activities – permanent exterior improvements include:
- Masonry repairs and repointing bricks;
- Repair/replace/preserve historically significant architectural details;
- Storefront reconstruction;
- Removal of false façade;
- Cornice repair;
- Exterior painting and stucco;
- Awnings and canopies;
- Window and door repair or replacement;
- Permanent exterior signage integrated into the storefront design;
- Permanent exterior lighting;
- Repair/replacement of gutters and down spouts;
- Visible roof repairs in conjunction with structural improvements;
- Decking and stairs; and
- Visible electrical, mechanical equipment enclosures
Examples of other eligible activities, which receive the approval by the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen:
- Architectural Services related to the façade or structure of the building (exterior only), and be compatible with the downtown main street setting.
- Structural and/or Codes Study & Report which provide, at minimum, a written report that identifies electrical fire and safety, and code recommendations, or any other study or report that provides technical data on the overall safety and/or structural integrity of the building.
Examples of activities not eligible:
- Improvements made prior to the grant approval;
- Non-visible roofing;
- Parking lots;
- Interior renovation;
- Temporary, portable or non-permanent improvements;
- New construction;
- Property acquisition;
- Expansion of building area;
- Conversion of use;
- Working capital;
- Labor completed by property/business owner;
- Refinance of existing debt;
- Payment of delinquent taxes;
- Design and architectural fees (See “Examples of other eligible activities, which receive the approval by the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen”).
Historic Zoning Commission’s Building Standards and Guidelines were created to assure that the appropriateness of any proposed work is compatible with the affected building’s original appearance and with other area buildings within the Downtown District. Those design guidelines can be accessed by visiting www.jonesboroughtn.org.
Program Guidelines and Timeline
- Applicants will submit the following to the Town of Jonesborough for approval prior to purchase of materials or commencement of work:
- Completed application form;
- Proof of property ownership or current lease;
- Detailed cost estimates/bids for proposed improvements. All work must be performed according to Town of Jonesborough permitting requirements.
- Photographs of existing structure identifying areas to be renovated;
- If non-structural changes are proposed, a sketch or drawing to explain the changes;
- If structural changes of the building are proposed, stamped architectural or engineering plans must be submitted;
- Specifications of material used; and
- Proof that all taxes, insurance, and mortgage payments are current.
The Downtown Jonesborough Façade & Architectural Improvement Grant Program will operate in conjunction with the Town of Jonesborough’s fiscal year. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis on a first-come, first-served basis beginning (1) the first year on September 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024; and (2) the second and any subsequent year July 1 – June 30, based on available funding. Accepted applicants will be notified of their grant award the month following their application.
All proposed work must be able to be completed within six (6) months of grant award, unless TOJ approves a longer timeline.
Submit the completed application and required information by e-mail only to:
Glenn Rosenoff, Town Administrator
Town of Jonesborough
123 Boone Street
Jonesborough, TN 37659
The TOJ shall approve or deny the application based on adopted criteria and priorities.
These priorities are:
- Monetary investment by the building/business owner
- Potential economic impact regarding increase in employment, increase in sales tax and/or increase in property value
- Architectural significance of improved façade
- Evaluation of proposed façade plans
In the case of the necessity of emergency repairs, the TOJ may waive certain provisions of the established criteria or process based on a recommendation of the Historic Zoning Commission and documentation of the necessity of emergency repairs undertaken by the applicant.
All work must meet city building codes and zoning requirements. Applicants are required to go through the Historic Zoning Commission.
Applicants are responsible for obtaining all permits before beginning any work. Any and all changes in the scope of work from the approved application must be resubmitted to the TOJ for approval prior to any work commencing or it will not be reimbursed. Change orders will be initiated through the TOJ. Bid additions and/or deletions must be approved prior to initiating any work changes.
Recipients of grant monies from the Façade Grant shall agree to display, during the rehabilitation process, one or more signs identifying the project as a recipient of financial assistance from the TOJ. The TOJ will furnish the sign(s) at its expense.
When the work is completed:
- Provide to the TOJ photographs of all completed work; and
- Submit to the TOJ all receipt and canceled checks as proof that materials and contracted improvements have been paid for. This shall include an affidavit certifying that all of the suppliers and contractors have been paid and that there are no liens on the project. All paid receipts must include name, address, phone number, and license number of the contractor. The TOJ reserves the right to verify all costs associated with renovation work for which reimbursement is requested; and
- Request an inspection by the Town of Jonesborough’s Building Official and a designated member of the Historic Zoning Commission to ensure that all work conforms to the work proposed and is completed as approved.
Reimbursements – all assistance is on a reimbursement basis following completion of the project. The total reimbursement for all forms of façade improvement assistance shall not exceed $2,500 per project. Projects must be completed within six (6) months of the start of construction, unless TOJ approves a longer timeline. All work must be performed in a professional and workman-like manner. The TOJ reserves the right to withhold reimbursement payment should the final inspection by the Town of Jonesborough’s Building Official reveal that the work performed was not completed in a professional and workman-like manner and/or has not successfully passed all applicable inspections.