Façade Improvement Fund

Note, funds for the current round of Façade Improvement Fund has been exhausted and we are no longer accepting applications.

Fund Description 

The Facade Improvement Fund is intended to provide financial support to Pioneer Square business and property owners who embark on projects to improve the overall appearance of their building facades and storefronts. Funds may be used to reimburse costs of materials and labor including, but not limited to, the following types of projects:

  • Fresh coat of paint
  • Lighting Improvements 
  • Cafe Seating
  • Planters
  • Facade repairs & upgrades
  • Broken door lock replacement 
  • Broken window replacement
  • Professional cleaning 

Only properties and businesses within the Pioneer Square District boundaries will be eligible to apply. Funding awards will be capped at $5,000. If you have an idea for a facade improvement project not listed, please reach out to admin@pioneersquare.org to inquire about eligibility.

How to Apply

Available funding in the Façade Improvement Fund is quickly decreasing. Your application is subject to availability of funding and may not be awarded.

To apply, email the following materials to admin@pioneersquare.org to submit your application:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Receipts 
  3. Before and after project photos 
  4. W-9 form
  5. Property Owner Authorization Form, if applicable (see FAQs for when this is needed)
  6. Proof of insurance (including file number and deductible amount), only if you filed a claim related to your project
  7. Certificate of Approval and City permits, if applicable (see FAQs for when this is needed)

If you have a financial hardship that makes the above application process a barrier to apply for funds, please contact admin@pioneersquare.org. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. Funds will be awarded on a first come first serve basis. The deadline to apply for funding is August 31, 2022.

For all questions about the Facade Improvement Fund, please reach out to us at admin@pioneersquare.org

Frequently Asked Questions 

My storefront or building is not located in Pioneer Square, can I apply for this fund?

No, the Facade Improvement Fund is only available to property owners and business owners located within Pioneer Square district boundaries. 

Is there a maximum dollar amount I can request?

Yes, the maximum dollar amount for funding awards is $5,000. This means projects will only be awarded up to $5,000.The Alliance for Pioneer Square reserves the right to delay, deny, or only provide partial funding.

Can I apply for this fund more than once?

Yes but please keep in mind that while funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, we intend to fund as many different projects, businesses, and locations throughout Pioneer as possible. The Alliance for Pioneer Square reserves the right to delay, deny, or only provide partial funding.

Can I apply for funding for a project that took place before January 1, 2022?

No, only projects that were completed on or after January 1, 2022 are eligible for funding (until funds are exhausted). The deadline to apply for funding is August 31, 2022.

When is the Property Owner Authorization Form required?

The Property Owner Authorization Form is required for applicants who are proposing projects that require property owner permission. These are projects that involve work outside of the applicant’s lease agreement. For example, if a tenant wants to change the color of the storefront facade and that is not allowed per the tenant’s lease, the tenant/applicant will need to submit a completed Property Owner Authorization Form as part of their application. If the project falls under the applicant’s responsibility per their lease agreement, the Property Owner Authorization Form is not required. For example, some leases may require the tenant to replace broken windows. In this case, the Property Owner Authorization Form would not be required.  

I have an idea for a facade improvement project that is not listed in the fund description, can I still apply? 

If you have an idea for a project but you are not sure if the project would be eligible for funding, please contact admin@pioneersquare.org to inquire about project eligibility. 

Do I need to get Pioneer Square Historic Preservation Board approval for my project?

It depends. If your project will change the building’s external appearance, a Certificate of Approval is required. For example, you must get a Certificate of Approval if you want to paint your storefront a new color. If the proposed work involves ONLY repair using the same materials and exact same details and finishes, then a Certificate of Approval is not required. However, the method and scope of work must be reviewed and confirmed as in-kind by the Board Coordinator, Genna Nashem, prior to undertaking the work. Genna can be reached at genna.nashem@seatttle.gov. Please review the Pioneer Square Historic District Guidelines  visit the Pioneer Square Preservation District website to learn more.    

Do I need a City of Seattle permit for my project? 

Some projects may require City of Seattle permits. Facade Improvement Fund applications will only be approved if all required permits and approvals are in place, as applicable. For example, a SDOT Street Use permit is required for new outdoor cafe seating. If you have questions about whether a city permit is required for your project, please contact admin@pioneersquare.org.  

Funding for the Facade Improvement Fund is made possible by Historic South Downtown and the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development .