A Guide to the Storefront Improvement Program (PDF)



The Downtown Waltham Partnership (DWP) is pleased to announce the Storefront Improvement Program (SIP). This program was designed to help revitalize the downtown district of Waltham and improve our main streets economically and aesthetically. Under the Storefront Improvement Program, business owners will be provided with funding and design assistance for the restoration and renovation of building facades. This includes a $1,000 grant for design assistance and a $5,000 grant for the work to be completed.



Applicants wishing to participate in the program must meet the following criteria

  • Eligible improvements include, but are not limited to: new windows, doors, signage, lighting, awnings, paint, tile or other decorative materials
  • Applicants must be property owners or tenants operating retail businesses, service establishments, or offices (Tenants must have written approval from the property owner)
  • Businesses must have a one year lease
  • The work to be done must comply with all state and local laws
  • The proposed facade work must not have been completed or begun prior to approval and design grant awarded by the DWP.
  • Applicants must meet income requirements set forth by the Housing and Urban Development committee (HUD).
  • Applicants must pay a non-refundable $50 application fee to participate in the program.



Below is a basic timeline of action items for the Storefront Improvement Program. Depending on the difficulty of the project, the timeline may vary.


PROJECT START: Meet with Project Coordinator

The project coordinator will explain the program and answer any initial questions you may have. You will discuss the project scope, any initial design ideas, etc.


WEEK TWO: Submit Signed Application, MOU, Income Eligibility Forms

The applicant cannot be considered for the program until all the required paperwork is submitted. Once this has been submitted, the project coordinator will let you know if your application has been approved.


WEEK THREE: Meet with Contractors

The project coordinator will assign a contractor to your project and you will meet to discuss the scope of work.


WEEK FIVE: Review Designs / Work

The applicant and project coordinator will review the submitted designs. At this point any necessary tweaks should be made and resubmitted to the contractor for redesign.


WEEK SEVEN: Finalize Design

The applicant and project coordinator should have a clear understanding of what the design will be.


WEEK EIGHT: Review Design with the Storefront Committee

The project coordinator will present the design to the Storefront Committee for review. The contractor cannot submit the designs to the

building department until the design has been reviewed and approved by the committee. Once approved by the committee, the applicant,

project coordinator, and applicant’s landlord must all initial the design for approval.


WEEK NINE: Submit Permit Applications

The contractor is responsible for submitting all the required permit drawings for the project. The applicant is responsible for payment of the

application fees.


WEEK THIRTEEN: Receive Building Permit, Start Construction

The contractor should not start construction on any signage and/or work until they have received a building permit from the city of Waltham.


WEEK SEVENTEEN: Install Signage / Complete Construction

Any signage or building construction should be installed / completed by this date.


WEEK EIGHTEEN: Project Completion

At this point all required paperwork should have been submitted and the work should have been completed. The project coordinator can administer payment to the contractor once the job is complete.



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Downtown Waltham Partnership, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.