CLINTON TOWNSHIP – The Clinton Township Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is back in full swing. In 2019, a new work plan was adopted and approved by resolution of the Township Board of Trustees. One of the plan’s goals is to promote a façade improvement program to enhance the Gratiot Avenue corridor.
“Getting the Façade Improvement Program off the ground took some time because of the pandemic, but we’re going now with a $50,000 investment into the Gratiot corridor,” said Township Supervisor Bob Cannon. “These funds will help our business owners leverage their own dollars to improve storefronts and encourage redevelopment,” he said.
Cannon added that the long-term goal is for the Township to assist projects which promote economic diversity and growth within the DDA district. “Aesthetic improvements will stimulate economic development and ultimately increase our tax base,” he said.
Brandon Jonas, Clinton Township’s Director of Economic Development, said other communities have similar programs – to correct and prevent deterioration in a DDA district, and in some cases, to encourage historic preservation.
“Creating a development incentive gives our DDA a marketing advantage over other communities in attracting new businesses and creating new jobs for the township,” said Jonas. “These improvements can lead to new foot traffic, more revenue for local businesses, and more redevelopment opportunities in the DDA,” he said.
Jonas said the program would increase property values along the Gratiot corridor and improve the marketability of the area. “Improvements to existing structures can stimulate private investment in areas that would have otherwise remained undeveloped or underdeveloped,” he said.
Each person or entity seeking funds under the Façade Improvement Program must submit a complete application proposal, with three estimates from contractors of their choice, to the Clinton Township Planning and Community Development Department. The application will be reviewed to ensure it aligns with the purposes of the DDA development, which are to eliminate actual or potential deterioration and hazards to the public or bring new or expanded employment opportunities to the district.
“The DDA will reimburse an applicant up to 50 percent of the cost of the project, with a maximum reimbursement of $5000,” said Jonas. “All grants are awarded when the project is complete, and after paid invoices and documentation are submitted to the DDA,” he said.
For information on how to apply, go to www.clintontownship.com/dda and click on DDA Façade Improvement Plan.