Facade Grants Progress
70+ Facade Grants Since 2001
The facade grant program is one of the DDA’s most powerful tools, affording direct investment in individual businesses. The DDA offers a 50/50 matching grant to encourage architecturally appropriate and lasting improvements to commercial facades. Improving physical appearance in this way promotes economic growth by attracting and retaining businesses, enticing customers, and halting property value deterioration.
The Timothy O’Malley’s transformation is so amazing, you might not think this is even the same building. DDA design assistance and a facade grant helped change an unassuming bar into a beautiful Irish pub, complete with a folding glass wall that melds the interior with the outside during summer evenings.
It all started with a simple $2,000 facade grant application. City Coffeehouse owners came to the DDA for help replacing a few leaking front windows. But the DDA saw a much bigger opportunity. Downtown Allen Park is blessed with wide sidewalks perfect for outside eating and entertainment. What if the coffeehouse installed a garage door opening out onto the sidewalk? Customers and musicians could spill outside, increasing vitality on the street. The DDA initiated its free design assistance program, sending its architect to meet with the owners, pitch the garage door idea, and prepare sketches of a few design options. Today, the coffeehouse is renovated inside and out, boasting luxurious open-air seating, an all-new interior, and even an expanded menu. Sales have grown and the renovations inspired Mick’s on Roosevelt, Timothy O’Malley’s, and Rat Pack Martini and Cigar Lounge to install similar openings to outside seating.
Affordable Comfort Heating & Cooling
Talk about dramatic improvements. Thanks in part to a DDA facade grant, Affordable Comfort Heating and Cooling is no longer a bright orange lube shop. Simple changes add up to one of the poshest HVAC buildings downriver. Bronze framed roll-up doors and stone accents create an elegant facade belying the mechanical services inside.
Allen Park Family Chiropractic
Another transformation so complete it’s as if an entirely new building replaced the former drab box. Allen Park Family Chiropractic was a well-established business outside the downtown district. They relocated in late 2014 to purchase and renovate their new downtown home. With the help of a DDA facade grant, the chiropractor raised the roof – literally – dramatically changing the building inside and out. The stone and stucco trim continues a common theme in the district.
Wheat & Rye
Dive bar or reputable family establishment? Nothing about the Wheat & Rye’s old facade matched its standing as respectable business. Today, thanks to a DDA facade grant, Wheat & Rye’s exterior matches its actual function. Look at the difference!
Volumé was one of the DDA’s most dramatic early façade grant-financed renovations. It’s stone trim and parapet wall has spurred on lots of similar improvements throughout the district.
Metropolitan Furniture is one of downtown’s oldest businesses. The DDA’s 2007 façade grant helped remove dated vinyl siding, exposing the original porcelain panels. Automotive cleaner and polish restored the panels to their former glory, along with cleaning and recaulking the joints. New porcelain panels were installed above the front door, windows and sashes were replaced, and new signage installed. More vinyl siding was removed from the rear of the building and the exposed masonry received repairs and tuck pointing followed by a new coat of paint. Two display boxes were built on the back elevation for displays along with a metal canopy and signage.
A 2007 DDA facade grant helped dramatically transform the building now housing the Broadcast Booth. A new brick facade and parapet wall replaced drab cement block and wood. Black anodized windows, sconces, and signage completed the front, with a tower entry added to the rear.