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GRDadof3

Possible MSHDA Facade Grants proposed for South Division

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The DDA is targeting the 100 block of S. Division for a newly created MSHDA "Facade Improvement" program. Grants will be available from $25,000 - $100,000, and would be submitted to the State on behalf of the applicant by the DDA. The DDA is looking to commit about $99,000 to the program, and the MSHDA funding available is about $600,000 (6/1 return).

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That would be a huge shot in the arm for that block.

I'm thinking this came out of the DDA's Pilot Program to revitalize downtown retail (our Retail Task Force on steroids).

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Looking at the memo, it looks like the $99,505 is part of $606,037 total. Still, a 5/1 return seems like a great deal.

I think it's impressive that there looking at applying this to eight of the ten properties on the block. That would make a dramatic difference.

Hope it goes through.

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Looking at the memo, it looks like the $99,505 is part of $606,037 total. Still, a 5/1 return seems like a great deal.

I think it's impressive that there looking at applying this to eight of the ten properties on the block. That would make a dramatic difference.

Hope it goes through.

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Imagine if this blocks gets spruced up with these grants, 101 S. Division gets the MI tax credits they need, RHD Tire gets sold and plans emerge, and when the two new restaurants next to 34 S. Division open, all of a sudden South Division Ave is not so down-and-out.

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And why is this stretch of Division not a Renaissance Zone? Too many zones already? This area is already taking care of its self? Anyone know? How is the Division Ren Zone south of Wealthy doing?

I do like these DDA facade programs.

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I'm all for the physical rehab of any structure downtown - but $600,000 of public money for fixing up private businesses?? Sure we all benefit to some degree by improving the "look" of the block. But... if the business cannot afford to do such improvments themselves, or through longterm neglect has rendered the need, why does the state or DDA have to step in?

Ren zones and things like brownfield credits I understand and tend to agree with the use. Where the property is dead, the structure useless, opportunities cost prohibitive for everything... But this...

How many businesses/buildings does this affect? How many properties have actual viable tenancy? How many properties were purchased in speculation?

If a business/building can't change (improve) with the times, maybe they no longer need to be there. Maybe someone with deeper pockets, a new vision, a better business plan, and so forth should be the answer. Natural selection a la business!

How exactly is this money doled out? Does the business have to put up any matching funds for the improvement? If they have a $68,000 facade plan, do they get a $68,000 grant? Does one really feel respensible or take ownership for something given to them? How about maintenance, if they didn't maintain the building before, why would one think they would maintain the new paint, awnings, windows, porches, etc. That block of south division could be incredible, and in the end I hope it is, but I would much rather see the property owners taking the iniative - or moving on and let capitalism take over.

Someone please, please, please - take a stab at some of my ?'s.

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How exactly is this money doled out? Does the business have to put up any matching funds for the improvement? If they have a $68,000 facade plan, do they get a $68,000 grant?

Someone please, please, please - take a stab at some of my ?'s.

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I'm all for the physical rehab of any structure downtown - but $600,000 of public money for fixing up private businesses?? Sure we all benefit to some degree by improving the "look" of the block. But... if the business cannot afford to do such improvments themselves, or through longterm neglect has rendered the need, why does the state or DDA have to step in?

Ren zones and things like brownfield credits I understand and tend to agree with the use. Where the property is dead, the structure useless, opportunities cost prohibitive for everything... But this...

How many businesses/buildings does this affect? How many properties have actual viable tenancy? How many properties were purchased in speculation?

If a business/building can't change (improve) with the times, maybe they no longer need to be there. Maybe someone with deeper pockets, a new vision, a better business plan, and so forth should be the answer. Natural selection a la business!

How exactly is this money doled out? Does the business have to put up any matching funds for the improvement? If they have a $68,000 facade plan, do they get a $68,000 grant? Does one really feel respensible or take ownership for something given to them? How about maintenance, if they didn't maintain the building before, why would one think they would maintain the new paint, awnings, windows, porches, etc. That block of south division could be incredible, and in the end I hope it is, but I would much rather see the property owners taking the iniative - or moving on and let capitalism take over.

Someone please, please, please - take a stab at some of my ?'s.

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Sounds like facade grants have been submitted for 121 and 135 S. Division, two of the worst in the 100 block. (121 shown above^^^^). Maybe we'll start to see some work on those soon. If the entire 100 block undergoes a facelift, that will be the most stunning revival in downtown Grand Rapids, maybe since the Blodgett block on Ionia Ave (maybe bigger).

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That block of south division could be incredible, and in the end I hope it is, but I would much rather see the property owners taking the iniative - or moving on and let capitalism take over.

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