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Vacant Property Revitalization Fund

About the Opportunity

investing in community

Lewis County is targeting vacant and potentially unsafe or blighted properties within downtown areas to turn them into usable spaces for business development opportunities. The Vacant Property Revitalization Fund will have immediate effects on our downtowns; enhancing our communities, driving business development, and bringing residents and tourists into down areas. By focusing on bringing these buildings back to life, the community will see an increase in the property tax base, the creation of local construction jobs, future employment within businesses, and an enhanced quality of life. 

Fast Facts

  • Communities Served: Lewis County 
  • Eligible: Commercial, Vacant Downtown Buildings
  • Focus areas: Revitalizing vacant, commerical downtown buildings to enhance our communities
  • Grant Awards: Up to $100,000
  • Applications Open: September 20, 2024 
  • Deadline: December 5, 2024

Eligibility & Criteria

for 2024

Eligible Projects

  • Applicants must be a commercial property owner in a downtown of Lewis County, NY
  • The project must reduce blight, contributing to the economic recovery of downtown areas
  • The project must be a vacant building and/or floor (currently unused, or unable to be used due remediation or construction needs)
  • The project must include renovation of commercial buildings resulting in occupancy through new business or residential (residential occupancy includes 2nd floors and above) 
  • The project must be financially feasible 
  • The project must show community benefit, such as increased tax base, job creation or new business development 

Application Process

  • Applicants submit a VPR Application at naturallylewis.com, including questions on the applicant, ownership, project readiness, building information, scope of work and rehabilitation budget.   
  • Staff verifies the information presented. 
  • Staff meets with applicant to discuss proposed project and develop project needs. 
  • Staff will work with applicant on project plan, schedule and budget to present to CEDP Committee.
  • The CEDP Committee reviews project based on selection criteria, project feasibility, and community benefit, and, if qualified, submits project to the LCDC for board approval.
  • LCDC Board approves the project
  • Property Owner enters into contract agreement with LCDC
  • Program begins and redevelopment commences
  • There will be ongoing review and monitoring during project construction 

Evaluation Criteria

The Vacant Property Revitalization Committee will review the following criteria in determining funding for a project:

  • The project must reduce blight, contributing to the economic recovery of downtown areas
  • The project must be a vacant building and/or floor (currently unused, or unable to be used due remediation or construction needs)
  • The project must include renovation of commercial buildings resulting in occupancy through new business or residential (residential occupancy includes 2nd floors and above)
  • The project must be financially feasible
  • The project must show community benefit, such as increased tax base, job creation or new business development 

For the project to be eligible for funding from the VPR Program, the applicant must demonstrate project feasibility, willingness and motivation to complete the project, and financial feasibility.  The committee will also assess the building features, such as structural integrity of the property and overall feasibility to complete the project.

A completed application and assistance by staff does not guarantee funds from the VPR Program.  All projects will be presented and reviewed by the CEDF Committee, who will make recommendations to the LCDC board for final approval.  The LCDC reserves the right to reject any application when, in its judgement, rehabilitation of the project is not economically feasible or not in the best interest of the surrounding community.  

Timeline

for 2024

September 20

Application Opens

December 5

Application Deadline

December 20

Committee Review

January 3

Award Recipients Notified

Past Recipients

of funding

Program in partnership with: