Mitchell to receive partial loan from DDA

Published 1:11 am Friday, April 11, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
Niles --A Niles Chiropractor was denied a $45,000 Downtown Development Authority loan to restore the store front of what will be his new chiropractic clinic at 109 N. Third St. Instead, the DDA granted only a partial loan approval at Wednesday's DDA meeting.
Dr. Toby Mitchell, owner and clinic director of Clear Choice Chiropractic and Holistic Wellness Center, currently located at 70 E. Main St., will also be asking for city council approval of his request for 12 dedicated parking spots close to his new business location.
Michelle Boyd, DDA Chair, in a letter released Thursday on behalf of the DDA Board, wrote that the DDA Board will recommend that the city council deny approval of Dr Mitchell's parking request.
She said the Board's decision not to support Mitchell's parking request was based on lengthy discussions that took into consideration comments from other business and property owners located in the DDA district.
The letter stated that in the end, the DDA wasn't able to determine that Mitchell's need for dedicated parking was any greater than that of any other business located downtown.
In the letter, Boyd also stated that Mitchell's $45,000 loan was denied based on recently redefined DDA fund guidelines.
The new DDA guidelines, although not yet complete, state that from now on, all DDA sponsored loans will require a one to one match, with $7500 the maximum dollar amount available to any one entity requesting a loan.
The Board's decision to limit the maximum loan amount to $7,500 per entity is to ensure the DDA won't run out of funds with so many projects going on in downtown Niles at the moment, Boyd said.
She expects many downtown building owners will soon request funds to renovate their own store fronts in downtown Niles, as part of their effort to renovate and revitalize the downtown area.
Mitchell said full approval of his loan request, however, was never a crucial factor in the renovation of his building.
As far as the parking issue goes, Mitchell is disappointed about the DDA's decision not to support his request.
Mitchell, however, was reluctant to put any direct blame on the DDA and would not comment directly on the Board's decision, but he did express his frustration.
Mitchell said he will continue to pursue the parking issue, next time through what he believes to be the right authority.
Dr Mitchell's parking request was to have 12 public parking spots dedicated for his business Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
According to the DDA, the public parking lot in question is located at the northeast corner of Cedar Street and North Third Street.
That public parking lot currently has 28 parking spaces and is the only public parking lot available on the south side of East Main Street between North Fifth Street and the St. Joseph River.
Mitchell is moving to the North Third Street location because his business has outgrown its current Main Street offices and renovations are already well under way inside his new building.