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Commercial Rehabilitation Program

Program Objectives

The Commercial Rehabilitation Program was established to restore the facades of commercial buildings in the towns and villages of Onondaga County, located in designated low-income areas.

Many commercial buildings in the towns and villages have experienced a period of decline.  Goals of the Program are to restore the facades of such buildings to make them more attractive and commercially viable, and also to make them more energy efficient, when possible.

The anticipated amount of the average project is estimated to be $60,000 — $30,000 funded by the Program and $30,000 funded by the owner.  That amount may vary depending on the size of the property, the number of tax parcels, the amount of visible facades, the complexity of the rehabilitation, and other variables.  The exact amount of any individual grant is at the discretion of Community Development, with the ultimate goal of substantially improving the commercial building stock in the community.


Eligible Applicants

The Commercial Program is a matching grant program for commercial properties within designated, low-income target areas.

Businesses and Nonprofit organizations (except churches, fire departments and Masonic lodges) are eligible to receive grant assistance.

Single- and multiple-family residential properties are not eligible.

Eligibility Requirements

Taxes – All property taxes, including County, Town, Village, and School taxes, must be paid.

Matching Portion – The property owner must establish an escrow account with Seneca Federal Savings and Loan Association. This is required after the property inspection and the cost estimate are completed by the Community Development (CD) Architect.  If at the time of the project a major interior renovation is underway, a portion of expenses incurred may be allowed as a match at the discretion of CD.

Repayment – The property owner will repay 30% of the grant over a period of 5 years in equal annual quarterly installments (as payments), as set forth in the Note and Mortgage to be executed by the property owner and subject to all the terms and conditions in them. No interest is charged against this note.

Code Enforcement – The property owner must agree to an initial inspection by the Town or Village Code Enforcement Officer.

The Property Owner must correct any reported interior code violations before any action will be taken on his/her application.

Eligible Activities

Only exterior improvements can be financed through the Program.  These can include: facade treatments and lighting, structural improvements, window improvements, and energy conservation measures.

Design Work

Design of property owner's building facade will be prepared by the Community Development Architect, at no cost to the property owner.  The design also must follow NYS Historic Preservation guidelines (if applicable) and all procedures as established by Community Development.

NOTE: All repairs and improvements must be in compliance with the State of New York, local municipality, and County of Onondaga Building Codes and Zoning requirements.


Community Development will send an "Invitation to Bidders" to contractors on the approved contractor list who are experienced in the type of construction required for the project. The contract will be between the property owner and the contractor.


All construction work will be supervised by the CD Architect. Work may not begin without written approval from the CD Architect. The Architect will authorize all payments to the contractor.

Download an application


For more information, contact Toni Kleist at 435-3558 Ext. 5811.

Division of Community Development, 421 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY 13202


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