DDA offering incentive to business owners

With the onset of spring comes the opportunity to refresh tired and drab storefronts, replace deteriorated wood, power wash and tuck point brick surfaces and rejuvenate the building with a fresh coat of paint.

While this is more than just spring cleaning, 
thanks to Mayor and Council, the Downtown
Development Authority (DDA) offers financial
assistance to downtown building owners who
renovate their front facades. Monies appropriated
by Council from the City’s economic development
budget, to reinstate the $10,000 Facade Incentive
& Architectural Design Services Program, have
been used to rejuvenate such properties as downtown’s Smoke Vision Care.

Vickie Phillipson, DDA and Chamber of Commerce program director, said Dowsett Chiropractic Health Center is a current program participant, as work there finishes up this spring.

“When Dowagiac began the redevelopment of its downtown 27 years ago, it put in place several key programs to encourage property and business owners to restore their buildings in a consistent and esthetically appropriate manner to the existing architectural structure, while at the same time giving them the flexibility to make sure their businesses were configured in a way that best served their needs,” Mayor Lyons said. “Among those steps was the hiring of a full-time downtown development director and the creation of the DDA’s Design Review Committee, whose job it was to review proposed storefront remodeling plans and, if the proposed plans were satisfactory, to provide the property owner with seed money to help defray some of the renovation costs.

“During the first 15 years of the redevelopment of our downtown, those incentive monies and architectural guidance played a key role in creating the central business district we have today. In later years, as most of the buildings were remodeled, the importance of the storefront renovation effort became less important and the use of the facade incentive funds dwindled.”

Today’s incentive encourages the continued upgrade of storefronts, as it helps property owners address the wear and tear their buildings have encountered over the last 27 years. The revised program is being administered on a matching funds basis. Property and business owners are eligible to receive an incentive of up to $2,000 for the front renovation of their building.

Owners of twin or double storefronts are eligible to receive up to $3,000. Previously, the incentive was only $1,000.

News

Niles man, 13-year-old passenger killed in Sodus Township crash

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Old Rugged Cross Church hosts church, museum dedication

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Elks hosting annual Guys and Dolls Golf Outing

News

New general surgeon seeing patients in Niles

Edwardsburg

Michigan Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall stops in Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg

PHOTO STORY: Edwardsburg Area Chamber of Commerce hosts fall festival

News

Niles man sentenced to probation for drunk driving

News

PHOTO STORY: Uptown Fright Fest a success

News

PHOTO STORY: Niles student crowned Miss Apple Festival 2021

News

Three injured in Howard Township crash

Dowagiac

Medical event causes car to crash into Dowagiac Burger King

Cass County

Cassopolis man sent to prison on drug charges

Dowagiac

SMC recognized for turning students into citizens

Dowagiac

ETS program awarded grant from Department of Education

Cass County

Dowagiac man who broke elementary school windows sentenced to probation

Dowagiac

Changes to retirement benefits cause for concern among Cass County employees

News

Niles first ward residents ask for an end to gun violence in their community

Buchanan

Buchanan Area Senior Center raising funds to convert porch into sunroom

Cass County

Man arrested on drug charges in Mason Township

Cass County

Cass County Commissioners approve grant for Dowagiac River restoration

Business

Lyons Industries donates 12 thermal imaging cameras to Indian Lake Volunteer Fire Department

Cass County

Niles man seriously injured in motorcycle crash

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Sept. 13-14

Berrien County

Local emergency departments experiencing high volumes, wait times