Campustown Facade Improvement Program

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Commercial property or business owners interested in enhancing the appearance of street-facing sides of commercial buildings located south and west of Iowa State University campus can apply for grants through the Campustown Façade Grant Program. The program provides the following incentives for projects to be completed in 2020:

  • Grants of up to $15,000 matching an equal amount invested by the owner, and
  • Up to $2,000 for professional design fees for projects awarded a grant

Campustown Facade Grant Application Packet  

  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 24, 2020
  • The application form and required project documents should be returned to the City of Ames Planning Department, located at Ames City Hall, 515 Clark Avenue, Room 214.
  • For questions on the program or application requirements, please contact Julie Gould, Planning and Housing Department, at 515-239-5400, or by email at

The program's goals are to encourage and maintain the diverse culture and ‘uniqueness’ of Campustown; create a vibrant, walkable Campustown; increase safety and security; encourage investment by property and business owners; and add to the vitality of Campustown.

The following design concepts have been identified in the Campustown Facade Improvement Program Idea Book as positively contributing to this vision for Campustown. Applications must incorporate one or more of these design concepts into the project to be considered eligible for the program. The Campustown Idea Book describes these concepts more fully with images and examples of the intent of the design concept. 

  • Transparent Campustown.  Increase transparency and access at the ground level to blend public and private spaces.
  • Social Campustown.  Improve outdoor spaces that welcome public access with well lit, park-like gathering spaces.
  • Diverse Campustown.  Create a more eclectic environment with vibrant, interesting design elements and integrated art.
  • Identifiable Campustown.  Improve the identity and recognition of businesses with design elements that express the business brand identity or with distinct features that work cohesively within the greater context of Campustown.
  • Historic Campustown.  Restore or preserve historic character of buildings that contribute to the historic character of the district.


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