Project Restore

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Project Restore

​The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, through Project Restore, is providing financial support to Maryland’s existing or new businesses to help incentivize commercial investment in vacant retail and commercial properties.​

Project Restore provides two grant opportunities for businesses, including nonprofits, that are expanding, moving to or opening in a property that was previously vacant for at least six months:

  • Property Assistance Grant: Provides up to $30,000 for one year to support costs associated with rent, mortgage payment or property improvements as applicable.
  • Business Operations Grant: For businesses that generate sales and use tax, provides up to $250,000 per calendar year to support capital (property improvements, equipment etc.) and operating (staff salaries, marketing, inventory etc.) costs associated with business operations in the vacant property.

Who Can Apply

Existing or new Maryland based businesses, including nonprofits, with 50 or fewer full time employees that are expanding, moving to or opening in a property that was previously vacant for at least six months.

  • NOTE: Businesses that have the following as their principal purpose are NOT eligible to apply: (1) Adult bookstore, adult video shop, or other adult entertainment facility; (2) Check cashing facility;(3) Gambling facility; (4) Gun shop; (5) Liquor store; (6) Massage parlor; (7) Pawn shop; (8) Tanning salon; or (9) Tattoo parlor.

Vacant Property/Length of Vacancy

Property must have been vacant for at least six months.​​

  • If Applicant Is Leasing the Vacant Property/Space: Date of the signed lease or Letter of Intent must not be older than April 1, 2022, therefore property must have been vacant as of October 1, 2021 or earlier.
    • NOTE: Applicants with a signed lease dated between July 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, that meet grant requirements, may apply for the Business Operations Grant but NOT Property Assistance Grant.
  • If Applicant Owns the Vacant Property/Space: Business applicants that are also the building owner(s) cannot have owned the property prior to July 1, 2021 and the property must have been vacant for at least six months prior to or during the period of ownership.​

How to Apply

Application is Closed

​The Project Restore application is available online. Please be sure to read ALL instructions included in the application carefully to ensure you provide all requested information and documentation to submit a complete application.

Prior to submitting an application, you will be required to register with the Maryland OneStop Portal. OneStop is the central hub for Maryland State licenses, forms, certificates, permits, applications, and registrations and can be accessed at: https://onestop.md.gov/​

The application round opens Thursday, July 7, 2022​ at 12:00 p.m. The online application portal will close at 5:00 p.m. Thursday, September 8, 2022 at the latest. The portal may close earlier if or when grant requests exceed available funding.​

Sample Application: FY23 Project Restore

NOTE: This application is only a sample (actual application may vary) to assist in providing information on the questions and information required when submitting the online application via OneStop. All applications and required documents must be submitted online to be considered for funding​.​

Required Documents

The following attachments will be required in the on-line application in order for the application to be considered complete:

  • Online verification of registration from the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation for the applicant, landlord and property owner.
  • Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation Real Property online verification of owner of vacant property
  • Applicant’s signed and dated IRS W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification
  • Signed and dated by both applicant and landlord a lease or letter of intent to lease and occupy the vacant space. ​NOTE:If awarded funds, the applicant must provide a signed lease​ agreement prior to executing a grant agreement and receiving any funds
  • If applying for the Business Operations Grant, existing businesses must provide proof of sales and use tax paid in CY2021 and CY2022 to date; new businesses must provide information on anticipated sales and use tax to be paid beginning January 1, 2023.

Use of Funds/Term of Awarded Funds

Property Assistance Grant

Property Assistance Grant can be used within one year as follows:

  • (a) if the business, including nonprofit, is leasing vacant space the funds can be used for rent and cover the 12 month period from the date rent payments begin per the lease,
  • (b) if the business, including nonprofit, owns the building then funds can be used for mortgage payments and the 12 month period begins at the date the award agreement is executed or
  • (c) if the business, including nonprofit, owns the building and there is no mortgage the funds can be used for property improvements. If the funds are used for property improvements,​ applicant must submit vendor cost estimates for improvements and improvements must be made within 12 months from the date the award agreement is executed.

Grant amounts may be reduced relative to requests, if demand exceeds available funding.

Business Operations Grant

Business Operations Grant award amounts will be based on ​estimated sales and use tax to be paid by the business in CY2023 and CY2024 if applicable. Awarded funds must be used for capital and/or operating costs associated with business operations in the vacant space.

Grant payments will be based on actual sales and use tax paid to the state beginning January 1, 2023 up to $250,000 for up to two calendar years, if applicable. Payments will be made to the business on a quarterly basis, after the Comptroller’s Office has received the sales and use tax submitted to them by the business.

For Business Operations Grant the award term of 1 year or 2 calendar years will be determined based on the location of the vacant retail or commercial property/space the business will occupy:

  • Tier 1 Areas – 2 Years (Calendar Years 2023 and 2024)
    • Baltimore City, Allegany, Baltimore, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Prince George’s, Somerset, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties.
    • Opportunity Zones and the State’s 33 designated Main Street Maryland communities located in any Maryland county.
  • Tier 2 Areas – 1 Year (Calendar Year 2023)
    • All other counties not​ listed in Tier 1 Areas.

Grant amounts may be reduced relative to requests, if demand exceeds available funding.

More Information

Keith Mainhart
Project Manager, Community Access and Partnership
Division of Neighborhood Revitalization
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
2 North Charles Street, Suite 450
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
E: keith.mainhart@maryland.gov
P: 410-209-5851

Jon Leishman
Project Manager, Community Access and Partnership
Division of Neighborhood Revitalization
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
2 North Charles Street, Suite 450
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
E: jon.leishman@maryland.gov
P: 410-209-5848​​​