Facade Grant Program
The Facade Improvement Grant Program (“Program”) is an economic development incentive program offered to eligible applicants who own or lease eligible property located within strategic development areas in the Town of Berlin.
The Program is intended to:
- Attract and retain local businesses;
- Encourage increased patronage of local businesses;
- Stimulate efforts to improve and upgrade existing building facades and landscaping which complement transit oriented development initiatives focused around the Berlin Train Station;
- Stabilize and increase property values;
- Provide property owners and tenants the ability to work in partnership with the Town to implement aspects of town planning and economic development strategy(ies);
- Ensure the design of approved projects is consistent with the Farmington Avenue Design Guidelines;
- Encourage continued private-public partnership that allows Program funds to be leveraged with private capital to ensure the success of the Program’s goals.
Tax Abatement Program
The Town of Berlin, Connecticut recognizes the importance of continued economic growth in our community and has adopted the following tax abatement framework. Projects must be consistent with State Statutes. The Town policy is that projects must involve real property improvements for at least one of the following:
- For office use.
- For manufacturing use.
- For warehouse, storage or distribution use.
- For information technology.
- For restaurants other than fast food, new retail developments or redevelopment of existing retail properties that involve substantial renovations or restoration of the exterior of the building and improvements to landscaping.
- For recreation facilities.
Other uses for which tax abatement is permitted by state statute will not generally be eligible unless the applicant demonstrates that the project will have a special benefit to the community.
One special benefit situation under which the Town Council may consider varying this policy by including other uses allowed by section 12-65b of the Connecticut General Statutes or by varying the abatement schedule in accordance with section 12-65b of the Connecticut General Statutes provided that the project will result in the substantial renovation of a blighted property or a property that the Town Council deems to be significantly affecting the character and quality of the surrounding area.
The following abatement schedule will be used by the Town Council as a guideline. The Town Council must act to approve each project and its specific abatement schedule.
Abatement schedule 50%, 40%, 30%
The value of real property improvements must be greater than $150,000 if the project is for office use, for manufacturing use, for warehouse, storage or distribution use, recreation facilities, newly developed for restaurants other than fast food or retail use or for information technology.
The value of real property improvements must be greater than $50,000 if the project is for redevelopment of existing retail properties that involve substantial renovations or restoration of the exterior of the building and improvements to landscaping.
Additional abatements may be considered for projects involving real property improvements greater than three million dollars.
The tax abatement program application should be submitted to the Economic Development Director for consideration for a recommendation by the Economic Development Commission to the Town Council. Property owners within 500 feet of the proposed development site will be notified 7 days in advance of the meeting that the Town Council will consider a tax partnership application.