Façade Renew

Small Center partnered with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) to launch Façade RENEW, a grant program designed to incentivize commercial property and small business owners to revitalize storefronts and building façades along four targeted commercial corridors.

Project Dates

January 2014–December 2016


Commercial revitalization is critical to rebuilding New Orleans neighborhoods. It facilitates opportunities for the redevelopment of commercial spaces, supports small business retention and growth, and makes the city more walkable. The Façade RENEW program aims to support the enhanced appearance of retail storefronts, eliminate economic blight, and address non-conforming design standards.

Small Center Engagement

In January 2013, Small Center began a partnership with NORA to launch the Façade RENEW Program, designed to spur redevelopment along historic commercial corridors in New Orleans. The 2-year pilot targeted portions of four corridors: Bayou Road, Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, St. Claude Avenue, and Alcee Fortier Boulevard. The program offered façade improvement grants for individual building owners and placemaking grants to main street associations. Clio Associates LLC worked directly with Small Center to provide 30 hours of technical design assistance for each of the grant applicants.

Façade RENEW operates as a 3:1 reimbursable grant program designed to incentivize commercial property and small business owners to revitalize their buildings. The program reimburses 75% of the total project costs for façade improvements up to $37,500 per commercial property. Façade RENEW provides an opportunity for historic preservation, as careful research is conducted into the historic and cultural heritage of each property, which in turn informs the design approach. Improvements range from painting, exterior repairs, lighting, and signage to complete storefront rehabilitations.

Partner Organization

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) is a catalyst for the revitalization of the city, partnering in strategic developments that celebrate the city’s neighborhoods and honor its traditions. NORA’s work addresses three core community needs: affordable housing, commercial revitalization, and land stewardship.


This 2-year pilot program included an investment of over $1.5M toward revitalization of these commercial corridors. The program surpassed its participation goals and NORA is currently seeking additional funds to offer the grants to other key historic corridors. In addition, placemaking grants supported initiatives along Alcee Fortier Boulevard in New Orleans East and at the intersection of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Central City.


Clio Associates LLC

  • Beth Jacob (Design Lead)
  • Gabrielle Begue

New Orleans Redevelopment Authority

  • Melissa Lee
  • Gionne Jourdan
  • JaLeesa Sims-Smith

Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchants and Business Association

  • Linda Pompa

Broad Community Connections

  • Jeff Schwartz

St Claude Main Street

  • Dawne Massey

Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation

  • Tuan Nguyen
  • Tap Bui

Historic District Landmarks Commission

Team Members

Project Leads

  • Dan Etheridge (Project Manager)
  • Maggie Hansen (Project Advisor)


  • Joseph A. Colon
  • Emma Jasinkski
  • Allison Price
  • JD Scott


  • Maurice Cox
  • Shoshana Gordon
  • Nick Jenisch
  • Dozenia Marshall
  • Sue Mobley
  • Donn Peabody
  • Emilie Taylor Welty


  • Surdna Foundation

Special Thanks

  • Brenda Breaux
  • Nina Feldman (Audio Documentation)
  • Bill Gilchrist
  • Jeff Hebert
  • Seth Knudsen
  • Cecil Howell
  • Jason Neville
  • Elliott Perkins
  • Michael Wong (Photographer)

Press and Awards

Excellence in Historic Preservation

Louisiana Landmarks Society

New Orleans announces $1 million in business-facelift money for blighted corridors

NOLA.com | The Times Picayune

City program breathes life into Bayou Road, one of New Orleans’ oldest thoroughfares

The New Orleans Advocate

Bayou Road Buildings Get Facade Improvements

Preservation in Print