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DMD Establishes New Grant Incentives to Entice Downtown Investment

On December 1, 2016 at the Downtown Management District (DMD) Board of Directors approved the creation of additional grant incentives for downtown property and/or business owners who invest in their properties.

The new incentives consist of an amendment to the current Downtown Commercial Façade Grant Program as well as the addition of three new grant programs. All of the new grant incentives took effect on January 1, 2017 and will utilize existing Downtown Management District funds earmarked for the Downtown Commercial Façade Improvement Grant Program.

The amendment and three new incentive programs are intended to attract investment in the downtown and are available to DMD property and business owners.

Grant applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funding has been committed. The DMD currently has $120,000 available in grant funding.

Below is information on each of the new grant opportunities:

Streetcar & El Paso Street Incentive (Amendment to existing Façade Improvement Program)

The amendment to the existing Downtown Commercial Façade Improvement Program increases the grant match by providing two grant dollars for every one private investment dollar for property and business owners located along El Paso Street (from San Antonio to Sixth), and along the Streetcar Route.

All other grant requirements and considerations would still apply including the $25,000 maximum grant award.

Downtown Iconic Signage and Lighting Grant Program

This new program provides two grant dollars for every one private investment dollar for iconic and transformative signage and lighting projects. The program hopes to spur investment in lighting and iconic signage projects that cultivates the downtown identity.

The maximum grant available is $25,000.

Downtown Pedestrian Corridor Improvement Grant Program

This new program incentivizes improvements associated with the pedestrian environment and not associated with a building structure or façade. This translates to non-building related projects that enhance the physical environment – examples include but are not limited to landscaping, bike racks, outdoor cafés, or parklets.

The grant will provide one grant dollar for every private investment dollar.  The maximum grant available is $10,000.

Downtown Mural Grant Program

Lastly, the new mural program incentivizes the creation and/or restoration of murals visible to the public. A review panel consisting of arts professionals will be established to review each proposed mural for quality and appropriateness prior to being reviewed by the Grant Committee and the DMD Board.

The grant will provide one grant dollar for every private investment dollar.  The maximum grant available is $10,000.

To be eligible to apply for a DMD Grant, the applicant must:

                     a.        Be a legal property owner. Business owners/tenants may apply with written property owner consent.

                    b.        Actively pay property taxes on proposed project’s property maintaining a current account status.

                     c.        Have no other debts in arrears to the City of El Paso to the best of their knowledge.

                    d.        Obtain and provide proof of no current code enforcement actions pending against the property that would not be mitigated by the improvement project by visiting this website.  Searches are available for all violations, i.e.; Building, Enforcement, Environmental, Animal, Fire, and Health.

Eligible applicants can obtain program guidelines and applications by going online or by calling the DMD office at 915-400-2294.