Facade Enhancement


Overview and Eligibilty

The Façade Enhancement Program was developed by C. Johnson & Associates. The Program is offered under several Special Service Areas (SSA) located on the South side of Chicago. The SSA board of directors set aside a portion of the SSA taxpayer dollars for façade improvements in the SSA area. Local businesses in the Special Service Area are eligible to participate yearly. Each year, five to ten business owners in the SSA are offered grants to improve the façades of their business. The Façade Enhancement Program not only assists with renovations but also provides businesses with free architectural services.

Any business or building owner located within a participating SSA district seeking to invest in the Façade of their building may apply. (Check with your local SSA provider to see if the Façade Enhancement Program is offered in your area.)


Process - How do I get started?


1. Information Meeting

Businesses interested in participating are asked to attend an informational meeting held by the local SSA provider and C. Johnson & Associates. The main issues addressed at this meeting will be:

  • Signage and City guidelines
  • Applications and grants offered to the businesses (These include the Façade Enhancement Program, the SBIF grant and the Façade Rebate Program)

2. One-on-One Consultation

C. Johnson & Associates will meet with each interested business owner one-on-one to outline the business’ preliminary design goals and outcomes

3. Services Provided

C. Johnson & Associates will:

  • Provide support and guidance in completing the Façade Enhancement Program and/or the City of Chicago Grant Applications
  • Research various improvement options such as signage, security systems and exterior lighting options
  • Provide local business owners with free professional, high quality, architectural renderings with several design options


Guidelines and Criteria


Program Guidelines: All improvements must be visible to pedestrians on the main thoroughfare and contribute to the overall improvement of the SSA business district.Improvements include, but are not limited to:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Framing
  • Signage
  • Awnings
  • Brick Repair
  • Brick Cleaning
  • Tuck pointing
  • Light Fixtures
  • Security Fixtures

Program Criteria:

  • Business owner must complete the Façade Enhancement Application and include all attachments.
  • All signed agreements with contractor(s) must be submitted and approved before work can begin.Give customers a reason to do business with you. 


For a copy of the brochure and application, click here