Architectural Improvement Program

Overview of the Program:

The Architectural Improvement Program (AIP) is designed to enhance the marketplace environment and promote quality investment, use and sustainability of commercial buildings within the City by making funds available for appropriate rehabilitation of existing structures. This program, provided as matching funds, has been approved by the City Council in recognition of the positive impact that architectural improvement can have on the overall appearance, quality and vitality of commercial properties.

Guidelines for the Program:

Qualifying properties must be located in one of the City’s existing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts. To find out if your property is within one of the TIF districts please click here to view the map. Project applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with approved projects being eligible to receive matching funds of up to $25,000. Funding is provided to applicants in the form of a forgivable loan, requiring the applicant to maintain improvements for a period of five years. For inquiries about the AIP, please contact Economic Development Planner Jason Michnick at 815-748-2365.

Types of Projects:

Projects are put into one of three tiers, with each tier receiving a different percentage of reimbursement based on the level of improvements.

Major Capital Improvements - 50% Reimbursement

ADA ComplianceFacade RenovationsLife Safety Equipment
Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing UpgradesArchitectural Design FeesRestoration of Historic Architectural Features
Fire Alarm and Suppression Systems

Minor Capital Improvements - 25% Reimbursement

Exterior LightingTuckpointingWindow & Door Replacement
Screening of Unsightly UtilitiesPainting

Deferred Maintenance - 10% Reimbursement

Roof Repair of ReplacementGutter ReplacementStair and Handrail Replacement
Floor Surface RepairWater Damage RepairMechanical Replacement


Documents for Applying:

AIP Guidelines

AIP Application

To schedule a pre-application meeting, please contact Jason Michnick.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is there a minimum amount of money a project must cost to apply?

No, there is no minimum project cost. However, applicants may only be granted funding once every five years, so it may make sense to bundle smaller projects together to take advantage of funding.

How do I know my property is located within a TIF district?

Please click here to view our TIF district maps.

What is the limit of how much the City will match?

The limit is $25,000 for matching funds. However, all decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and larger projects may be prioritized over smaller projects.

Contact Us

  1. Jason Michnick
    Economic Development Planner
    Phone: 815-748-2365

    Community Development Department
    200 South Fourth Street
    DeKalb, IL 60115
    Phone: 815-748-2060

    Hours (except holidays)
    Monday - Friday
    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Staff Directory