Design Assistance Progress
20+ Design Assistance Projects Since 2016
The DDA added free design assistance to its facade grant program in 2016. Applicants receive several hours of consultation services from a licensed architect who produces 2-3 sketches of facade improvement options. This service results in professionally designed architectural improvements appropriate to downtown Allen Park.
City Coffeehouse was the DDA’s first Design Assistance Project. The owners came to the DDA for a small façade grant to fix a few leaky windows, but the DDA saw a much bigger opportunity. What if the coffeehouse installed a garage door opening out onto the sidewalk? Customers and musicians could spill outside, increasing vitality on the street. So the DDA sent its architect to pitch the garage door idea and prepare a few sketches. The result was not only the luxuriously renovated City Coffeehouse, but the DDA’s new Design Assistance Program.
Who knew this unassuming bar could be transformed into a beautiful Irish pub, right in downtown Allen Park? Through the help of the DDA Design Assistance Program, O’Malley’s owners were able to chose between three entirely transformational design options. The result is a fantastic Irish pub, complete with a folding glass wall that melds the interior with the outside during summer evenings.
Champaign Alley Boutique
DDA Design Assistance provided ideas for simple improvements that add up to big change for this new downtown retailer. Paint, an awning, and a mural together transform the formerly dowdy building into an upscale property suitable for the boutique.
The owner of the former Park Cleaners approached the DDA for help marketing the building. The property’s current rough shape makes it difficult for prospective tenants to envision how it could suit their needs. The DDA architect prepared several sketches through the Design Assistance Program showing the property transformed into an attractive restaurant location. The owner uses these design ideas in the building’s marketing packet.
As a longtime downtown business, Artistic Dental considered a façade refresh in early 2017. The DDA architect produced four intriguing concepts through the Design Assistance Program. The business owners haven’t committed to one yet, but the designs are all prepared when they’re ready to start planning.