The Building Reuse Program is administered by the Rural Division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce; it provides grants to local governments for two purposes: the renovation of vacant buildings and the renovation or expansion of a building occupied by an existing North Carolina company wishing to expand in its current location.

The N.C. Department of Commerce annually ranks the state’s 100 counties based on economic well-being and assigns each a tier designation. The 40 most distressed counties are designated as Tier 1, the next 40 as Tier 2 and the 20 least distressed as Tier 3. This tier system is incorporated into the Building Reuse Program to encourage economic activity in the less prosperous areas of the state.

For more information on county tier designations, visit our County Development Tier Designations page.

Vacant Building

Grants are available to support vacant building renovation. A speculative building that has never been occupied is not eligible unless it is at least five years old. Eligible buildings must have been vacant for at least three months prior to the application deadline.

Existing Building

Grants are available to support the renovation or expansion of buildings occupied by a company operating in North Carolina for at least 12 months.

Eligible Use

Eligible expenses incurred after a grant has been awarded include: materials and labor to install HVAC, electrical, plumbing, fire alarm/suppression system, roofing, flooring, carpentry, drywall, paint and other renovation or upfitting costs.

Prohibited costs that may not be submitted for reimbursement or to meet the matching funds requirement include: building purchase, architectural costs, engineering costs, permit fees, surveys, legal fees, machinery and equipment, telephone hardware and software, computer hardware and software, furnishings, paving, fencing, kitchen equipment and refrigeration equipment.

Basic Requirements for Eligibility

Eligible applicants are local governments located in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county. In Tier 1 or Tier 2 counties, priority will be given to towns or communities with populations of fewer than 5,000. A rural census tract is an area having a population density of fewer than 500 people per square mile, according to the most recent decennial federal census. Rural census tract designations can be found on the AccessNC website.

The local government must contribute at least 5% of the total eligible expenditures. The cash match must come from local government resources and may not be derived from other state or federal grant funds.


For more information about the Building Reuse Program, contact the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina at (919) 447-7777 or by filling out our online form.

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina does not award or administer this incentive. All economic development incentives are awarded and administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.