Downtown Facade Improvement Program

The Downtown Facade Improvement program will operate as a forgivable loan program that will respect the historic nature of downtown buildings while updating their functionality and energy efficiency. 

The Program is intended to encourage property owners in the downtown to initiate transformational building projects; this Program is not intended to fund general building maintenance. 

Program Goals

  • Promote private redevelopment and investment in downtown properties (exterior and interior); 
  • Inspire local commercial development to address market failures; 
  • Encourage beautification in Minot, generally, and in the Central Business District, specifically; 
  • Revitalize downtown as a unique cultural and retail hub of Minot; 
  • Support aesthetic improvements to the Central Business District; 
  • Increase community support for downtown; 
  • Reduce vacancies in the downtown; 
  • Provide a unique experience that draws visitors and residents, and supports other economic development efforts; and 
  • Improve conditions for the renovation of upper stories for residential and/or commercial uses. 


Minimum requirements exist for Program eligibility, as follows: 

  • Applicant must own the property to be improved; 
  • Property to be improved must be located in the Central Business District; 
  • Applicant must be willing to fully comply with the requirements of the Program, including, among other things, a renovation to the property’s facade that visually improves the exterior aesthetic of the building and returns the building to its original design, the mandatory financial commitment, compliance with all zoning and building code requirements with regard to the façade improvements, and willingness to allow the City to walk through the entire building to evaluate and recommend potential renovations that would promote additional commercial and residential activities in the downtown;
  • Property to be improved must have no outstanding nuisance, dangerous building, public health, or building/zoning code violations; and 
  • Payment on all property taxes and/or special assessments relating to property to be improved must be current. 

Eligible Reimbursement projects

The following list contains improvements that would be considered a component of façade improvements eligible for funding under this Program, so long as the improvements are completed to the exterior of the building, comply with all applicable state and local building codes, and restore the building’s original aesthetic: 

  1. Window repairs and window replacements (“like for like” appearance requires sign-off by the department); 
  2. Historic fenestration of the building shall be respected (install the right window for the opening); 
  3. Display windows; 
  4. Doors (secure, “like for like” wherever possible); 
  5. Ornamentation (corbels, cornices, mouldings, etc.); 
  6. Masonry replacement and repair including but not limited to repointing, tuckpointing, stucco, brick, block, ceramic, and tile; 
  7. Americans with Disability Act (ADA) accessibility (ramps, lifts, powered doors, etc.); 
  8. Awnings (retractable/roll out and fixed) that mirror window and door openings and marquees; 
  9. Permanent sign lighting (not located within sign) such as gooseneck lighting; 
  10. Painting, caulking, and surface preparation of renovated or replaced facade; 
  11. Restoration and recreation of ghost signs (an old hand-painted advertising sign preserved on a building, often for a business, product, or service that no longer exists); 
  12. Sealing of stone and brick; 
  13. Façade lighting; 
  14. Concealed electrical wiring directly associated with other uses herein; 
  15. Accommodation for seasonal/holiday LED lighting; 
  16. Demolition of historically inappropriate materials; 
  17. Fire escapes; 
  18. Repair and construction of entryways and vestibules; 
  19. Gutters, scuppers, and downspouts;  
  20. Architectural services and design reimbursement or matching of fees paid, however, in no circumstance may those fees exceed 10% of the reimbursable project costs; if an application is approved for funding, architectural services, and design reimbursement may also include fees accrued by the applicant during the application process.

Guidelines and Documents

  1. Jonathan Rosenthal Black and White headshot of white male.

    Jonathan Rosenthal

    Economic Development Administrator

Eligible Properties

A map of downtown Minot that includes red shading for eligible properties