The City of Waterloo wishes to redevelop the downtown area as a shopping and entertainment destination for visitors and local residents.


This program will provide funds to encourage downtown property owners to improve their buildings “curb appeal.” As well as provide grants to beautification projects for city property as deemed appropriate.

General Requirements

The property must be located within the outlined area of Downtown Waterloo as stated by the committee. The improvements to be made must be pre-approved through submission of an application that will be reviewed by the Downtown Beautification Committee and approved by City Council. Applications will also be reviewed by the Building Inspector and Zoning Officer.

Project Completion

All improvements must be completed within six months of approval by City Council. This period may be extended once by vote of the City Council. Improvements not completed within this timeframe will be ineligible for matching funds.

Matching Reimbursement

The City of Waterloo will match approved improvements dollar for dollar up to $5,000.00 (50/50) and dollar to three dollars for an additional $5,000.00 (25/75) for approved projects. Only expenses actually incurred (documented by receipts or lien waivers) are eligible to be reimbursed; additionally, all labor costs associated with projects proposed for reimbursement must comply with the City’s Prevailing Wage Ordinance and Illinois State law. Program funds may only be used to reimburse costs for labor paid at no less than said prevailing wage ordinance rates (documented by the property owner) and to pay for materials.

Additional Eligibility Requirements:

  1. The building must be located within the Downtown area. The Downtown area is as follows:  Main St from 1st St to 4th St. Mill St from Market St to Library St. Any additional locations may be reviewed by the Downtown Beautification Committee to determine their relevance to the downtown area as a destination.
  2. Only building owners are eligible to apply.
  3. The building must be zoned for commercial use.
  4. The building must either currently house commercial use(s) on the first floor at the time of the request for funding or have improvements for commercial uses incorporated into the project.
  5. All tax and fee obligations by law relative to the building owner must be current as a condition for receiving funding from this program.
  6. An improved building will not be eligible for funding under this program again for three (3) years, regardless of any change of ownership that may occur, upon receiving grant funds or after having failed to complete a project within the agreed timeframe.
  7. Any projects undertaken prior to receiving approval from the City Council are ineligible for matching funds.
  8. All improvements must be made in compliance with the Waterloo Municipal Code.
  9. An owner that has not maintained improvements funded by the façade program will be ineligible for subsequent funding.

Other Incentives

All other incentives will be determined on a case by case basis by the City of Waterloo.