The White Box Grant program, which is currently in its pilot phase, is designed to help property owners bring vacant commercial first-floor spaces, located in low- to moderate-income census tracts, up to current code to create a functional "white box" space ready for customization and occupancy by a business. The program will provide a matching grant of $25,000 to $75,000 for first-floor, interior renovation expenses. Building owners will be required to provide a 30% match and must either occupy the space as a business owner or actively market the space for lease.

As this is a pilot program, we are not yet accepting applications. To stay informed, please let us know by submitting your interest below.

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Eligibility

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants, whether individual or entity, meet the following criteria

  • Applicant owns the building for which they are applying
  • Applicant is in good standing with governmental entities (i.e. current on income tax, property tax, utilities, code violations, fees).

Eligible Buildings

Eligible buildings must:

  • Have no code violations
  • Contain a first-floor commercial vacant space
  • Be located in a low-to-moderate income census tract of the city of Toledo

A building's eligibility is determined by use, not zoning.

Eligible buildings include:

  • Commercial use (non-residential)
  • Industrial use
  • Mixed-use (integrated commercial and residential uses)

Completed white box units, which will not be occupied by the owner, will be required to provide a marketing plan that demonstrates their intention to actively market the renovated space for commercial or industrial use.

Eligible Expenses

The White Box Grant program provides funding to bring vacant commercial spaces up to code. Eligible expenses address deficiencies in meeting building code, fire code, or ADA requirements, with the goal of receiving a certificate of occupancy.

All upgrades must comply with zoning and building codes. Any eligible expense incurred prior to the execution of the White Box Grant program, or work performed without required permits, is ineligible.

Projects shall be completed within 12 months of the Effective Date of the White Box Grant Program Agreement.

A minimum of three quotes is required for each eligible expense. Quotes must confirm adherence to Davis Bacon requirements, be on contractor letterhead, and clearly identify the scope of work and estimated cost. Contractors shall have required licensing, bond, and insurance, and all work shall be performed according to applicable codes (i.e. Ohio Revised Code and Toledo Municipal Code).

Questions?

For questions please email Sandy Spang at sandy.spang@toledo.oh.gov.

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