Downtown Improvement Grant Programs

Downtown Facade Grant

The City of Newton recently approved a façade improvement grant for buildings in the Newton Main Street District.

Eligible projects include: sign or sign removal (up to $750), non-historic façade removal ($2,000), façade rehabilitation ($5,000), painting or paint removal ($1,500), awning or awning removal ($2,500) and architectural fees (7.5% of total project costs, up to $3,750).

Building owners are eligible for multiple awards, for example, one for painting and one for signage. The grant requires a 1:1 match from building owners. 

A Design Review Board appointed by the mayor will review applications, with final approval by City Council. Projects must be historically appropriate and meet the design guidelines. 

Applicants are encouraged to contact Newton Main Street early in the planning stages and to set up a consultation with Main Street Iowa design specialists (this is a free service) before submitting the application. 

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Downtown Housing Grant

The City of Newton is offering grants to assist and encourage property owners within the Main Street District to create or rehabilitate residential units within downtown buildings. All projects must meet the recommendations specified within the Downtown Historic District Design Guidelines, adopted codes for the City of Newton, and the program instructions.

1:1 up to a maximum of $20,000 per unit, Permit fees are not an eligible expense, other grants received cannot count towards the applicant’s match requirement

Applicants must submit the Housing Grant Program Application and all required items stipulated within the Application Submittal Checklist.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to schedule a consultation with the Main Street Iowa Design Specialists (this is a free service) prior to submitting an application. 

A Downtown Grant Review Board will review the application against the program criteria.  The Review Board will provide Newton City Council with a recommendation to Approve, Deny, or Approve with Conditions.  The Application and Review Board’s recommendation will be forwarded to Newton City Council for a final decision.  There is no appeal process.  However, an applicant may resubmit a revised application an unlimited number of times.

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