Renovation Incentives

Facade improvement program

Union Block Building Before

Union Block Building Before

The CRA (Community Redevelopment Authority) has been working to improve substandard areas of Grand Island since 1995 by providing assistance for the development of new projects or the restoration of existing properties.

By making these funds available, the Facade Improvement Program contributes to the improvement of the overall appearance of buildings and entire neighborhoods, which results in a stronger customer base and economic growth for area businesses.

Union Block Building After

Union Block Building After

  • Signs, Awnings and Paint
  • Exterior Lighting
  • Removal of Incompatible Exterior Finishes and materials
  • Repair or Replacement of Architectural Elements or Features

For more information about what types of improvements qualify please refer to the manual “Railside Design Guidelines”.

Facade Program Grant Application

Contact Chad Nabity at 308.385.5444



The Life Safety Housing Grant is intended to stimulate the economic revitalization of Railside by creating the opportunity for downtown housing amongst the buildings with vacant upper floors by assisting owners/developers of downtown buildings in creating residential units in previously vacant or underutilized space.

This CRA (Community Redevelopment Authority) program will complement and support other public and private investments and encourage the use of the upper floors of buildings in the downtown area.


The Federation of Labor building was converted to 11 apartments, utilizing  the Life Safety Grant program.

The Federation of Labor building was converted to 11 apartments, utilizing  the Life Safety Grant program.

  • To encourage private investment that results in the re-utilization and tenancy in the upper floors of taxable downtown buildings.

  • Help strengthen retail, restaurant and other downtown businesses by creating a customer base that is within close proximity. This critical mass is vitally important to downtown revitalization efforts.

  • To remove spot blight, rehabilitation of privately owned commercial buildings, expand housing options, create jobs, and increase downtown tenancy and vitality. 

The program allows for a grant of up to $15,000 per one-bedroom unit and up to $20,000 per two-plus-bedroom unit.  

Life Safety Grant Program Information and Application.

Contact Chad Nabity at 308.385.5444.

Tax Increment FInancing (TIF)

Tower 217 utilized TIF for renovations.

Tower 217 utilized TIF for renovations.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is implemented through the CRA which provides funding to selected, eligible redevelopment projects.  TIF is designed to finance the public costs associated with a private development project. Essentially, the property tax increases resulting from a development are targeted towards repaying the public investment required by a project.

TIF encourages private investment in blighted or deteriorating areas by allowing city governments to devote all property tax revenue increases to repaying the public investment needed to attract development. 

Tax Increment Financing Program Application.

For more information contact Chad Nabity at 308.385.5444.