Oak Park Playbook

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

This program is under revision for the fiscal year starting June 1, 2020. Applications for Fiscal Year 2020/21 will be accepted under the new program guidelines scheduled for review by the Village Board on May 19, 2020. 

The Five Programs
Ed and Joes SignAvailable 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 to the building, and improving the overall character of the property. Application

Code Compliance Grant Program
This program assists owners of properties built prior to 2007 with meeting Building Code requirements, including installation of sprinkler and fire alarm systems, and meeting Accessibility Code requirements. The program is designed to improve the safety of Tinley Park’s older buildings, improve property values and strengthen the economic viability of older structures. Eligible property owners may receive as much as $35,000 in matching grant funds. Application

Sign Grant Program
The Sign Grant Program is intended to improve the aesthetic quality of Downtown Tinley by incentivizing pedestrian-oriented signage and assisting businesses wishing to remove non-conforming signage. The goal is to introduce creative and attractive signs that compliment Downtown Tinley buildings. The program will provide a matching grant for 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 that are complementary to existing businesses or to assist existing businesses 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. Eligible property owners may receive as much as $35,000 in matching grant funds. Application

Landscape Grant Program
These grants are intended to assist owners of properties along Oak Park Avenue to enhance landscaping the front yard with four-season interest. The program will provide a matching grant of as much as $5,000 for properties planting salt-resistant trees, shrubs and native perennials in the front yard. Application

Program Aims
Tinley DentalThe 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; and
  • Improve the aesthetics of the entire corridor by enhancing the landscaping of properties along Oak Park Avenue.

How to apply
Interested Downtown Tinley business and property owners may download 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 application packet will then be reviewed by the Economic and Commercial Commission (ECC). Following ECC review, the application will be sent to the Economic Development and Marketing Committee for approval, then to the Village Board for final approval.

The Village has budgeted funds for these new programs that will 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.