Downtown Tinley Playbook

The Village of Tinley Park is committed to assuring the long-term viability of the community, assisting with business start-up and supporting tourism. One of the key goals is to develop a signature downtown where residents can meet, entertain, shop and dine. To support this effort, in May 2018 the Village began offering the Downtown Playbook – a series of five incentive programs specifically designed to encourage Downtown Tinley business owners to invest in and improve their respective properties.

The Five Programs
Downtown FlowersAvailable programs include the Facade Improvement Grant, the Code Compliance Grant, the Sign Grant, the Retail Grant and the Landscape Grant.

Facade Improvement Grant Program
Eligible property owners may receive as much as $35,000 in matching grant funds for exterior building improvements that increase the pedestrian focus, historic character, design quality and vitality of Downtown Tinley. Preference will be given to property owners who are restoring the historic grace with which their buildings were originally built, removing false facades and elements which were not original architectural designs, and improving the character of the property. Application

Code Compliance Grant Program
This program will assist owners of properties built prior to 2007 with installation of sprinkler and fire alarm systems to comply with the Fire Code and Accessibility Code. The program is designed to improve the safety of Tinley Park’s older buildings, protect property values and improve economic viability of older structures. Application

Sign Grant Program
This program is intended to enhance the walkability and improve the aesthetic quality of Downtown Tinley by incentivizing pedestrian-oriented signage for businesses wishing to remove non-conforming signage. The goal is to introduce creative and attractive signs that compliment Downtown Tinley buildings and support the pedestrian-orientation of downtown. The program will provide a grant of up to 50% of approved signage design, materials, fabrication and installation costs, to a maximum of $5,000 per business. Application

Retail Grant Program
This program will be used to recruit targeted specialty retailers (which will complement existing businesses) or to help existing businesses (expanding 20% or more) that “amplify” Downtown Tinley. Preference will be given to businesses that support the existing music brand (including entertainment uses), as well as applicants with a proven business track record and the potential to become a strong destination or enhance the pedestrian experience. Application

Landscape Grant Program
These grants are intended to assist owners of commercial properties on the major arterial road leading to Downtown Tinley. Additionally, landscaping the front yard with four-season interest will improve the aesthetics of the corridor and provide a buffer to the street. The grant would provide as much as $1,000 for the planting of salt-resistant trees, shrubs and native perennials in the front yard of residential properties and as much as $5,000 for the planting of salt-resistant trees shrubs and native perennials in the front yard of commercial properties. Application

Program Aims
Downtown AerialThe key goals of the new incentive programs are to:

  • Strengthen the pedestrian-friendly business district
  • Create a stronger synergy of specialty dining and retail
  • Maintain safe buildings with distinctive architecture and signage
  • Improve economic viability and competitiveness of existing buildings
  • Spur start-up, attraction and expansion of sales tax-producing businesses
  • Build public spaces with an orientation to music and entertainment
  • Enhance the aesthetics of the entire corridor, including the landscaping on residential properties

How to apply
Interested Downtown Tinley business owners should download and fill out the grant application for the particular program in which they're interested. After an initial staff review, inspectors will examine the building in question and create a comprehensive list of required improvements in order for the applicant to receive the grant. The applicant and Village staff will then complete a grant application packet for review by the Economic and Commercial Commission (ECC). Following ECC review, the application will be sent to the Village Board for approval.

The Village has budgeted funds for these new programs which could support 10 or more projects annually, and one site can use as much as $70,000 in grants per year.

Business and property owners are invited to be a part of creating a downtown that everyone – from residents to visitors to business owners – can enjoy and be proud of.

Resource links
Click on any of the below links for more information related to the Downtown Tinley Playbook.