Façade Improvement Program

Is your business located within the Downtown Specific Plan?  Have you been interested in making improvements to the façade of your business?  The Riverbank City Council recently approved the allocation of $210,000 in American Rescue Plan Act Funds towards a facade improvement program to assist you in making these improvements.  Each business is eligible for up to $15,000 in assistance in matching funds.   Call (209) 863-7122 for more information. 

Program Overview

The Riverbank Façade Improvement Program (FIP) is a reimbursement grant program for eligible Commercial, Office, or Retail businesses for the improvement of existing buildings in the Riverbank Downtown Specific Plan designated area.  The program was created to encourage private investment by enhancing the physical “curb appeal” and increase economic vitality within the Downtown Specific Plan Area in Riverbank.  The program encourages retention of existing businesses, attract new businesses, and increase property values.  The long-term objective goal of the program is to permanently improve the appearance of Riverbank’s Downtown.  

The program provides a matching grant of dollar for dollar of the façade improvement costs to the business and/or owner up to a maximum of $15,000. This is a matching grant where businesses must also include their own funding for improvements. 

Downtown Specific Plan Map

The Downtown Specific Plan Area is defined as follows:

Callender Road to the West, Fourth Street to the East, Atchison Road (Highway 108) to the North, and Patterson Road to the South.  Properties fronting Atchison Road West of Seventh Street are also eligible.  If your business falls within this area, you may be eligible for this program! 

Dowtown Specific Plan Area

Projects Eligible for Grants

Eligible Improvements

Ineligible Improvements

  • Exterior Paint
  • Repair or replacement of exterior siding
  • Installation of entry doors
  • Installation of display windows
  • Installation of new awnings/canopies over windows and entryway
  • Installation of new signs or upgraded signage
  • Installation of exterior lighting
  • Permanent landscaping
  • Construction of outdoor dining or gathering spaces
  • Removal of old signs, awnings, and other exterior clutter
  • New concept murals, if professionally done and approved by the City
  • Obscure windows that do not allow or encourage viewing into the business
  • Overpowering signs
  • Alcoves or recesses on exterior building walls
  • Loading docks, parking entrances and exits
  • Interior improvements or roof repair, not visible from the street
  • Removal of architecturally important features
  • Installation of plastic or vinyl awnings and canopies
  • Installation of heavy, unattractive, roll-down security grates
  • Previous unauthorized improvements
  • Performing deferred maintenance on building or property
  • Parking area paving, resurfacing, or striping
  • City permits or processing fees

Design Standards and Review

Design review is required for exterior alterations and must be in conformity with the Downtown Specific Plan Architectural Guidelines.  These Guidelines can be located in Section 2.3.1 of the Specific Plan starting on Page 75 at Final Downtown Specific Plan - May 2015.  

Pre-Application Concept Meeting Required

Applicants will meet with the Program Administrator, representatives from Planning & Building Divisions to review the project & building permit process and to answer any questions that a business may have. The Program Administrator will review the application process with the business owner, discuss the scope of work, determine a timeline, and review the remaining process for the grant. 

Application Workflow

Process Workflow

Where to Start

  1. Review Program Guidelines available by CLICKING HERE.  For Guidelines in Spanish, please CLICK HERE.
  2. Review the Downtown Specific Plan Architectural Guidelines starting in Section 2.3.1 on page 75.  A copy of the Specific Plan is available HERE.
  3. Develop your initial ideas of your proposed facade improvements that can be presented to City Staff at a Pre-Application meeting. 
  4. Contact the Administration Office at (209) 863-7122 to arrange a pre-application concept meeting.  No drawings or plans are required, but applicant must be able to describe the plan in detail.  
  5. Upon tentative approval of the project, the Program Administrator will hold funds within the program budget. No commitment of grant funds will occur until the Planning Division has determined that the proposed project will meet codes and design standards and Program Administrator notifies applicant with Commitment Letter.  You will be provided an official application at this time to be completed and submitted with appropriate requests for permits, cost estimates, and if necessary, owner approval of the project.
  6. Once the application has been approved, a Letter of Commitment will be sent to the applicant from the Program Administrator. The letter will specify the amount of the estimated grant funds to be set aside and a time frame in which the work must be completed to receive a grant.