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Financial Incentive Programs

The City of Hamilton offers financial incentive programs in the form of loans and grants to assist with various costs associated with development/redevelopment in Downtown Hamilton, Community Downtowns, Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), Mount Hope Gateway, other commercial corridors and, certain designated heritage properties identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area By-law. The Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Plan provides the basis through which these programs are provided. In addition, municipal development charges are reduced by 90% within a defined area of Downtown Hamilton. If a developer voluntarily contributes dollar for dollar the remaining 10% of development charges to the Downtown Public Art Reserve, the remaining 10% will be exempted.

More detailed descriptions and application forms specific to each program can be accessed below:

  • Business Improvement Area Commercial Property Improvement Grant Program, for façade improvements within active Business Improvement Areas (BIAs).
  • Commercial Façade Property Improvement Grant Program, is intended to provide financial assistance for commercial property owners/authorized tenants within Community Downtowns of Ancaster, Binbrook, Dundas, Stoney Creek, Waterdown, and the Mount Hope Gateway, as well as the commercial corridors along Barton Street and Kenilworth Avenue North as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area.
  • Hamilton Tax Increment Grant Program, for the development or rehabilitation of residential and/or commercial land and buildings within Downtown Hamilton, Community Downtowns, Business Improvement Areas, Mount Hope Gateway and the commercial corridors along Barton Street and Kenilworth Avenue North as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area.
  • Hamilton Downtown Multi-Residential Property Investment Program, for predominantly residential development together with uses accessory to the residential development within Downtown Hamilton.
  • Commercial Corridor Housing Loan and Grant Program, to stimulate residential development within Downtown Hamilton, Community Downtowns, BIAs, Mount Hope Gateway and “commercial corridors” as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area.
  • Office Tenancy Assistance Program, for leasehold improvements to office buildings located within Downtown Hamilton, Community Downtowns, Business Improvement Areas, Mount Hope Gateway and the commercial corridors along Barton Street and Kenilworth Avenue North as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area.
  • Hamilton Heritage Property Grant Program, for structural/stability work required to conserve and restore heritage features of properties; and the conservation and restoration of heritage features of properties that are designated under Parts IV or V of the Ontario Heritage Act. Eligible properties must be located within: Downtown Hamilton; Community Downtowns; Mount Hope Gateway; an active Business Improvement Area within the City of Hamilton; or, be designated under Parts IV or V of the Ontario Heritage Act and located within the lower city between Highway 403 and the Red Hill Valley Parkway and used for commercial, institutional or multi-residential purposes.
  • Hamilton Heritage Conservation Grant Program, to assist in the on-going conservation of heritage properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act that are not eligible for the Hamilton Heritage Property Grant Program (HHPGP).

Business Improvement Area Commercial Property Improvement Grant Program

The Business Improvement Area Commercial Property Improvement Grant Program (BIA CPIG) provides financial assistance to commercial property owners and owner-authorized tenants within active  Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) across the City.

The BIA CPIG program will fund eligible façade and entryway improvements. For properties that have a street-frontage greater than 25’, the grant is based on $400 per linear foot of frontage to a maximum of $20,000. The maximum matching grant for properties with a street frontage of 25’ or less is $10,000. As a further incentive for corner properties or properties with at least one side exposed regardless of the measurement of the street frontage, the City may increase the maximum grant amount to $25,000 to recognize the importance of flankage facades. Artfully designed façade improvements or art pieces placed on private property that can be viewed by the public, may be eligible for an additional $10,000 matching grant.

BIA CPIG applications are accepted year round by the Urban Renewal Section. Applicants may apply once each calendar year.

Application Form and Program Description:

Commercial Façade Property Improvement Grant Program

The Commercial Façade Property Improvement Grant Program is intended to provide financial assistance for commercial property owners/authorized tenants within Downtown Hamilton, Community Downtowns, and the commercial corridors along Barton Street and Kenilworth Avenue North as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal and Community Improvement Project Area.

The Program aims to improve upon the physical appearance of properties, achieve quality façade improvements and, encourage investment in the areas in which the program is offered.

Maximum grant amount will be paid on a matching basis (50%-50%) to a maximum of $10,000 per property for eligible work under the Program. Corner properties will receive an additional grant of $2,500.

Application Form and Program Description:

Hamilton Tax Increment Grant Program

This program, provides an economic catalyst for developing, re-developing or renovating residential and/or commercial lands and buildings located within Downtown Hamilton, Community Downtowns, Business Improvement Areas and the commercial corridors along Barton Street and Kenilworth Avenue North as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area.

The program will authorize a five-year grant, in an amount not exceeding the increase in municipal realty taxes as a direct result of the development/redevelopment of the land and/or building. Approved grants shall not exceed 100 percent of the municipal realty tax increase during the first year, 80 percent in year two, 60 percent in year three, 40 percent in year four and 20 percent in year five. Grants will not exceed the costs of the property’s development/redevelopment. They are not assignable by the property owner to anyone, except for purchasers of new condominium units.

Properties must meet qualifying criteria to be eligible, as outlined in the Hamilton Tax Increment Grant Program description. The Urban Renewal Section accepts applications to this program year round.

Application Form and Program Description:

Hamilton Downtown Multi-Residential Property Investment Program

The Hamilton Downtown Multi-Residential Property Investment Program was developed as a catalyst for stimulating residential development within Downtown Hamilton as defined by the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area. The Program is intended to provide financial assistance for projects that result in predominantly residential development including converting existing commercial space into residential units; renovations to existing residential units; the creation of new residential units on vacant land; together with uses accessory to the residential development.

Application Form and Program Description:

Commercial Corridor Housing Loan and Grant Program

The Commercial Corridor Housing Loan and Grant Program is designed to stimulate residential development within Downtown Hamilton, Community Downtowns, Business Improvement Areas and “commercial corridors” (streets that exhibit “main street” characteristics although they are not within a designated downtown or organized in a BIA).

The program is intended to provide financial assistance for: converting existing built commercial space into residential units, renovations to existing residential units or construction of new units via building additions. The program is also intended to provide assistance for the costs of creating new residential units on vacant land.

Pre-Application Form and Program Description:

The Commercial Corridor Housing Loan and Grant Program applies to the following Community Improvement Project Areas:

Office Tenancy Assistance Program

The Office Tenancy Assistance Program aims to attract new office tenants and owner-occupied office uses from outside the City, and to assist existing businesses to expand. It provides a low interest loan to building owners or tenants to support eligible leasehold improvements to office buildings located within Downtown Hamilton, Community Downtowns, Business Improvement Areas and the commercial corridors along Barton Street and Kenilworth Avenue North as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area. The intent of the loan depends on the square foot area and term of lease or owner-occupied status of the office space, to a maximum of $450,000 per application.

Application Form and Program Description:

Hamilton Heritage Property Grant Program

The Hamilton Heritage Property Grant Program (HHPGP) is intended to provide financial assistance in the form of a grant for structural/stability work required to conserve and restore heritage features of properties; and, the conservation and restoration of heritage features of properties that are designated under parts IV or V of the Ontario Heritage Act. Eligible properties must be located within: Downtown Hamilton; a Community Downtown; an active Business Improvement Area within the City of Hamilton; or, be designated under Parts IV or V of the Ontario Heritage Act and located within the lower city between Highway 403 and the Red Hill Valley Parkway and used for commercial, institutional or multi-residential purposes.

The objective of the Program is to assist in development and re-using heritage properties. City Council values heritage properties as important to the urban revitalization and regeneration. Conservation and restorative initiatives must be consistent with the policies, principles and design themes contained within the Downtown Hamilton Secondary Plan, relevant Urban Design Guidelines, regulations contained within the applicable Zoning By-laws as well as any other City Council approved policies/regulations.

Application Form and Program Description:

The Hamilton Community Heritage Fund (HCHF), provides interest-free loans to a maximum of $50,000 for restoration of heritage attributes on properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.
HCHF guide and application  Please Note: Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Hamilton Heritage Conservation Grant Program

The Hamilton Heritage Conservation Grant Program (HHCGP) is intended to provide financial assistance in the form of matching grants between $1,000 to $5,000 for the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage resources. The objective of the Hamilton Heritage Conservation Grant Program is to assist in the on-going conservation of heritage properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act that are not eligible for the Hamilton Heritage Property Grant Program (HHPGP).

Application Form and Program Description

Contact Information:

Hazel Milsome
Co-ordinator of Urban Renewal Incentives
Urban Renewal
Planning and Economic Development Department
City of Hamilton
71 Main Street West, 7th Floor
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5 Canada
Phone: 905-546-2424 x2755
Fax: 905-546-2693
Email: Hazel.Milsome@hamilton.ca

 

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