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Lawrence Local Lift
Storefront Improvement Program

This program is designed to encourage private investment by new and existing property owners in the eligible district (considerations will be made for properties near or adjacent to the boundary lines). The program is designed as a 50/50 match grant for moderate to substantial exterior and/or façade improvements in the designated area. Grants will range from $5,000 to $15,000.

Applications will be accepted until Friday, August 16, 2019”.

The Lawrence Redevelopment Authority will evaluate all submitted projects and contact awardees directly.

For additional information, please contact:

Jessica Martinez, Transformative Development Fellow, MassDevelopment  |  857-295-9966


FAQs & Guidelines


What type of assistance is available with Lawrence Local Lift?

Lawrence Local Lift Storefront Improvement Program offers both design assistance and construction grants.

  • Step 1: Design assistance

    • Chosen applicants will be paired with an architectural team that will work with the property owner in designing a façade. The architectural team will work with the property owner directly on schematic designs for proposed improvements within the approved construction grant allowance and budget. City partners (LRA, LP, and City) must agree upon the presented rendering before construction grants are released.

  • Step 2: Construction grant

    • Construction grants will range between $5,000 and $15,000 and require a 50/50 match, i.e. every dollar paid by the program must be matched by a dollar from the applicant. Projects will go through a final review by the LRA, City, and Lawrence Partnership before grant awards are dispersed.


Example: A property owner applies and proposes a $10,000 window treatment update. The City Partners award the grant, the property owner successfully works with the architect, and City Partners approve the renderings. Construction can begin on the project and the grant program will grant $5,000 towards the updates.

Who can apply?

Any property owner located within the eligible district (considerations will be made for properties near or adjacent to the boundary lines) can apply for the program.

What types of projects are eligible?

The program will only fund exterior improvements to your property. The following types of improvements are eligible for funding:

  • Installation of new signs or improvements to existing ones

  • Installation, repair or replacement of awnings

  • Restoration of exterior façade

  • Exterior painting

  • Removal of inappropriate or incompatible exterior finishes and materials

  • Reconfiguration of existing doors and entrances

  • Repair or replacement of existing storefront windows

  • Installation of exterior building, sign or display area lighting

  • Removal of security window bars, roll-down grates and grate boxes

  • Other improvements may be allowed on a case-by-case basis


Priority will be given to properties with public-facing first-floor retail. If you have solid grates and are applying to the Storefront Improvement Program, you will be required to remove them.

Are there design guidelines?

All projects must comply with the City of Lawrence Zoning Ordinance and Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development 40R Design Standards guidebook. The architectural team have working knowledge of these ordinances and will work with property owners within the provided guidelines.

What’s the timeline for this program?

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How do I know if I am accepted into the program?

Once the application cycle closes, the LRA will contact all applicants directly. If you have been awarded a grant you will receive a commitment letter from the LRA for you to officially accept the grant program.


Contact Jess Martinez, Transformative Development Initiative Fellow, by phone at 857-295-9966 or email

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