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Ottawa expands facade improvement program

Posted by wlpo on September 4, 2012

An attractive storefront is a big part of a business’s image.  People who own or rent buildings in downtown Ottawa can give their shop a facelift with the help the Façade Improvement Program.   The area of buildings eligible for the program is expanding.

After about four weeks of discussion, the city council Tuesday approved changes to the ordinance the expands the program to include buildings in the downtown TIF district and the commercial historical district which is part of the canal TIF.

Mayor Bob Eschbach says he and others had suggested that the rules be changed to offer property owners more money per square lineal foot and to include improvements to the back sides of buildings but those ideas didn’t receive enough support from the commissioners.

The façade program has been around for six to seven years and has been used for an estimated 15 properties.  The city’s share, which is never more than half of the total cost, comes from TIF money.

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