Brie Wright – What’s Up Racine
City of Racine Grant Programs
The City of Racine offers several grants to assist with building improvement costs. These grants are in the form of matching funds, which reimburse your approved costs upon project completion. Be sure to get in touch with staff before beginning your project, as all proposed work must be evaluated and accepted by the Redevelopment Authority, or staff prior to beginning construction. The grants require that very specific criteria must be met in order to receive reimbursement. In addition to City sponsored grants, a number of our partner organizations, including the Uptown and Douglas Avenue Business Improvement Districts, offer grant programs of their own.
City of Racine Commercial Building Facade Grant Program
The City of Racine’s Façade Grant Program provides financial assistance to commercial property owners interested in renovating the major street faces of their buildings. The program was established in 2003 to enhance the physical appearance of some of Racine’s commercial corridors. Since then it has provided more than $890,000 in grant funds, leveraging more than $4 million in projects.
The program provides matching funds up to $10,000 to commercial property owners to assist them in restoring their building façades. For information on how to apply and program requirements, please contact the Department of City Development at (262) 636-9151.
Download the Facade Grant Application Packet
City of Racine Commercial “White Box” Grant Program
In addition to the long established Facade Grant Program, in 2017 the City of Racine initiated the White Box Grant to assist with interior improvements to vacant commercial buildings over 50 years old, in an effort to encourage reinvestment in these structures. The program had great success and funding was nearly depleted within the first six months, so the City reaffirmed its commitment to revitalizing Racine’s traditional commercial areas with additional funding being allocated to the program. Eligible projects could receive a potential City match valued at up to $20,000 per project. The White Box Grant Program is administered by the Chief Building Official. Please call (262) 636-9161 for more information.
Download the White Box Grant Program Application
Water Impact Fee (“REC” Fee) Reimbursement Program
For commercial or mixed-use buildings built before 2004, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Racine has created the Water Impact “REC” Fee Reimbursement Program. Subject to certain criteria, building owners can receive reimbursement for up to one “Residential Equivalent Connection (REC)” charge of $3,450 for new water impact fees necessitated by a change in water usage associated with a proposed new commercial use. For more information, contact the Department of City Development at (262) 636-9151 with any questions.
Download the REC Reimbursement Grant Application
START (Supporting Tourism Allocation of Room Tax) Grant Program
The City of Racine has established the START Grant to provide financial assistance to non-profit, or not-for-profit organizations that operate events, activities or programming, which will likely result in tourists or visitors from outside the local area coming to the City of Racine. This grant can pay for costs associated with these events, including activities related to labor, equipment, security, promotional support, signage and other eligible expenses. This program utilizes revenue generated from the City Room Tax of 8% of gross receipts levied on the retail furnishing of rooms and lodging within the city, consistent with Section 66.75, Wis. Statutes.
Download the Racine START Grant Program Application