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STOREFRONT IMPROVEMENTS () FUND Guidelines

OBJECTIVE (How)

The Fund provides financial assistance for applicants business’ building owners/tenants for job retention or creation at a rate of $1,000 per employee, an additional $1,500 for two (2) employees and an additional $2,000 for up to three (3) employees. The Fund also provides assistance of up to 20% of roof repairs cost not to exceed $2,000. Total maximum assistance under the Fund is $6,500 per project. Assistance is to be used in connection with guidelines and options as specified by the Pharr Main Street Design Committee based upon design rendering provided by the Texas Main Street Office, as applicable.

ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES

  1. Qualified businesses will include existing on-site businesses within the City of Pharr’s Central Business District (CBD) with priority given to businesses in the Historic Main Street District, except for structures outside said district that have been designated by the Texas Historical Commission as historical landmarks, or by the city as city landmarks.  Also, the Storefront Improvements Fund boundaries will extend from the CBD North to Expressway 83 South Frontage Road; to the South, the boundaries will extend to Ridge Road; to the East, the boundaries will extend to Gumwood; and to the West, the boundaries will extend to Flag Ave.
  2. Financial assistance must be used to implement design rendering provided by the Texas Main Street Office architect, and approved by the Design Committee or the Main Street Board. A rendering may not apply if a proposed project falls under a minor permit review process that would include items such as, but not limited, to exterior paint, planters, some signs, etc. All applicants must adhere to the City’s Illustrated Design Guidelines Manual.
  3. All projects must meet City of Pharr ordinances and code guidelines, including requirements set forth in the historical preservation ordinance & design guidelines, as appropriate.
  4. Qualified projects will include only those who have not begun any improvements prior to the final approval of project by the Main Street Board
  5. All property taxes must be current in order to be eligible for funding.
  6. All applications for financial assistance are subject to availability of program funds.
  7. Applicants who are not building owners (i.e. business owners/tenants) must provide a letter of authorization from property owners to undertake proposed improvements.
  8. Business must either create or retain jobs as per financing policy.
  9. The Fund improvements include, but are not limited to signage, window dressing, landscaping, streetscape, benches, planters, pavers, plaques, banners, lighting, painting, and roof repairs.  Funding for roof repairs may be matched up to 20% to total roof repair costs, not to exceed a total assistance of $2,000.  This is over and above any applicable FundAssistance the applicant may be eligible. For roof repair applications shall not be accepted individually and must include an inspection report from a professional roofer.

FINANCING POLICIES

  1. Once approved, financial assistance will be disbursed when 100% of the project is completed.
  2. This matching assistance is a two-year promissory note with a forgiveness clause after two (2) years, so long as the applicant maintains the storefront’s improvements unchanged, remains in compliance with city codes, and property taxes.  If not, the applicant’s note will become due.
  3. The following are examples of funding projects:

    Applicants with one (1) employee (Examples)

    Fund



    2/3 MATCH

     

    20% MATCH ROOF COSTS


    TOTALS

    PROJECT COST

    $   1,000.00

    $     3,000.00

    $  4,000.00

    SHARE (2/3)

    $     666.66

    $     600.00

    $  1,266.66

    APPLICANTS’ SHARE (1/3)

    $    333.33

    $     2,400.0

    $    2,733.33

     

    Applicants with two (2) employees (Examples)

    Fund



    2/3 MATCH



    20% MATCH ROOF COSTS


    TOTALS


    PROJECT COST

    $   2,100.00

    $     6,000.00

    $  8,100.00

    SHARE (2/3)

    $    1,400.00

    $     1,200.00

    $  2,600.00

    APPLICANTS’ SHARE (1/3)

    $       700.00

    $     7,200.00

    $  9,900.00

     

     

    Applicants with three (3) employees (Examples)

    Fund



    2/3 MATCH



    20% MATCH ROOF REPAIRS


    TOTALS

    PROJECT COST

    $  6,750.00

    $     10,000.00

    $     16,750.00

    SHARE (2/3)

    $   4,500.00

    $     2,000.00

    $     6,500.00*

    APPLICANTS’ SHARE (1/3)

    $   2,250.00

    $     8,000.00

    $     10,250.00

  4. The City of Pharr reserves the right to report applicant to the Better Business Bureau and credit agencies as appropriate, and/or pursue legal action in the event that any clause in the promissory note is not fulfilled completely, including any unapproved storefront changes within 2 years of project completion.
  5. The City will forgive (1/2) one half of the matching amount each year.  After two (2) years said amount becomes a grant.
  6. The City will disburse its participation share to applicant upon submitting required documentation.  The fund is a reimbursement for work already completed, not a form of monetary assistance necessary to commence construction, or keep a project in progress.
  7. The proposed number of new employees (that are required to meet the employment criteria) must be hired/employed before disbursement of funds.
  8. Applicant agrees to give employment priority/preference to low- to moderate-income persons that reside within the City of Pharr.

Application Requirements

1.      A completed Notify me of updates (0 downloads)

2.      The application packet shall include one (1) original, early photograph of the property in question, as applicable.  Picture is needed for design rendering to be produced.

3.      Applicant must submit a list of current and/or proposed new employees’ payroll information to include a W2 earning summary, and/or a 1099 Form, if applicable.

4.      A ‘design rendering’ provided by the Texas Main Street Office architect.

5.      A floor plan, total square footage of building, and current lease amount, if available.

6.      A design plan with detailed construction specs from contractor, if applicable.

7.      A work-up sheet with cost estimates, and type of materials and colors to be used from winning Bid.  Applicant is responsible for choosing the winning bid.

8.      Reimbursement request will be drawn-down after completion and submission of a supporting documentation.

Applicant must agree with the following:

1.      Applicant will attend a pre-construction workshop.

2.      Applicant will allow the City monitoring of project and on-site interview.

3.      Applicant affirms that no conflict of interest exists between him/her and the contractor/subcontractor.  A conflict of interest is defined as ‘outside interest, outside activities or acceptance of gifts, gratuities, and entertainment’ causing a conflict of interest.

4.      Applicant has freely chosen a contractor and/or architect for this project.

PERIOD OF COMPLIANCE

Recipients of financial assistance must complete their project within the approved number of days allowed in the construction contract (not to exceed 1 month).  Applicant has thirty (30) days to commence work from the date of approval for assistance by the Main Street Board.  Failure to meet these requirements could result in revocation of financial assistance.

Time extensions may be granted should extenuating circumstances arise.  Requests must be made in writing and forwarded to the Main Street Board for review/action.

If the storefront is altered for any reason within two (2) years, without the approval of the Main Street Board, the grant recipient agrees to reimburse the City of Pharr immediately for the full amount of promissory note, as noted in Financing Policies, above.

PERIODIC REVIEW

The policies shall be reviewed, and if appropriate amended, by a 2/3 vote of the Main Street Board (or its designated partner) upon Main Street staff’s recommendations.

ADMINISTRATION

All applications for financial assistance under the fund must be submitted to the Main Street Office for processing, administration and monitoring.  The Main Street Board will evaluate design proposals for grant purposes only.  No Certificate of Appropriateness is required.  Main Street staff will offer assistance to all applicants with required information for grant assistance.

MAIN STREET DISTRICT

The Main Street District consists of four (4) core areas (see below).  These areas will be prioritized:

  • PHASE I (i.e. the first three years of the Main Street Program) will focus on one (1) core areas:  the Pueblo Americano District  (Section A) which includes West & East Park; and
  • PHASE II and beyond, will focus on two (2) additional core areas:  the Pueblo Mejicano District (Section B), and the S. Cage Blvd. area (Section C).  Please refer to the Main Street Walk Map for details.

For more information, contact Mr. Mario Palomo at (956) 702-5335 or email at [email protected]

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