Hampton Arts & Cultural District

The designation, which covers much of downtown and Phoebus, was created to encourage arts-based businesses and cultural institutions to locate or expand in the district. It is also designed to highlight and strengthen the existing arts and cultural assets in the downtown Hampton and Phoebus areas in a connected way that creates synergy and additional foot traffic. Within the district there are 2 incentive zones, that are highlighted in yellow on this map.

Additional resources


Learn more about the arts businesses and cultural assets already located in the district or available locations from the Downtown Hampton Development Partnership and the Partnership for a New Phoebus.

Business Incentives


Qualifying new or expanded businesses can be eligible (over a five-year period) for:
  • Waiver of permit fees

    • Building
    • Electrical
    • Mechanical
    • Plumbing
    • Sign
    • Use permit
    • Rezoning
  • Downtown/Phoebus Retail Incentive Grant

    • Reduced project threshold
    • Eligible for larger award
  • Building Improvement Grant

    • Reduced project threshold
    • Eligible for larger award
  • Waiver of User Fees

    • Special event permit
    • Staff fee
    • Park/venue rental

Steps to Qualify


  1. See if your business qualifies.
  2. Select a location.
  3. Complete a District Business Qualification Application.
  4. Administrator will review and certify the business or institution
  5. If certified, your business or institution qualifies for the following benefits as outlined above.

Incentive Term



Waiver of Permit and Special Events Fees:


Once approved as a qualified business or institution, fees – as outlined in Appendix D - can be waived. Qualified Arts & Cultural Businesses are eligible to receive no more than $10,000 in fees within the 5-year incentive period.

Incentive Grants:


Once approved as a qualified business or institution, you may apply for the Downtown/Phoebus Retail Incentive Grant or the Building Improvement Grant through the Hampton Economic Development Authority if you meet the program’s eligibility criteria. The normal application process and review timelines associated with the grant programs still apply.

Terms and Conditions


Qualified Arts & Cultural Businesses that fail to pay in full any tax imposed by the City of Hampton by the due date shall lose its certification for the year of such tax and its entitlement to any incentives afforded under this article during such period.

Qualified Arts & Cultural Businesses receiving incentives under this article that fail to, at all times, comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations in the case of a first offense lose its Qualified Arts & Cultural Business certification for the remainder of the current fiscal year and in the case of any subsequent failure shall lose its Qualified Arts & Cultural Business certification for the duration of the total remaining 5-year incentive term.