Thursday, September 09, 2004
$100,000 Grant Awarded to East Jefferson Redevelopment Project
On behalf of Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, officials from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation presented a $100,000 grant to the Jefferson East Business Association (JEBA) as part of the Governor's Cool Cities pilot program today. The program, designed to foster the development of vibrant, attractive cities and urban centers, is a key element of the Governor's overall economic development strategy for Michigan.
"This unique project will help Detroit retain its talented young people - and they are the key to creating new jobs in today's economy," said Granholm. "We need a vibrant dynamic Detroit to make Michigan's economy strong."
The Jefferson East Business Association will use the funding to help finance the redevelopment of three blighted buildings located on Jefferson between Alter and Chalmers into entertainment and technology incubators. The mixed-use development will include 28 loft-style apartments, a television production studio, an ice cream parlor, a music production company, a fish market and grill, an upscale bar, an art gallery, a coffee shop that will double as a music production and education cafeteria and three additional retail businesses
City of Detroit Councilwoman Alberta Tinsley-Talibi; Henry Hagood, Director of Development Activities; Mary Grace Wilbert, Principle Account Manager with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and Alan Levy, Director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Commerical Revitalization were present with JEBA during the awards presentation.
"JEBA's focus is to identify and overcome barriers to both physical and economic development of our area, increase opportunities for business growth, establish mechanisms that insure the success of businesses, and encourage the creation of employment opportunities for area residents," said Diana Stewart, the organization's Executive Director. "Receiving this grant furthers JEBA's capacity to implement its revitalization program and to provide resources and technical assistance for the business and property owners."
In addition to the state grant, JEBA will have access to a resource toolbox that includes more than 75 of the state's community improvement grant, loan and assistance programs. These resources can be leveraged and strategically directed to revitalization projects that offer the best opportunity for success.
A multi-agency team reviewed 151 project applications from 112 Michigan communities. Twenty finalists were chosen that demonstrated close partnerships with community organizations and the private sector and offered the best plans for creating large scale neighborhood or community improvements.
"I was very impressed with the quality of all of the Cool Cities applications," said David Hollister, director of the Department of Labor and Economic Growth. "The Jefferson East Business Association should be commended for its ongoing revitalization efforts. This unique project will have a positive effect on the neighborhood and the entire city for many years to come."
Teams associated with projects not designated as part of the pilot program are eligible to attend an educational and training session in Lansing later this month. They will meet with representatives from DLEG and MEDC along with the 14 participating state departments to discuss how they can improve their applications for the next round of grants and determine what other resources might be available to them.
"Cool Cities is the result of the collaborative efforts of many state agencies," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "I am very pleased that the MEDC can contribute its efforts to such a valuable program."
Additional projects designated to receive Cool Cities funding are in Bay City, Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Marquette, Port Huron, Portland, Saginaw, Saugatuck, Sault Ste. Marie, Traverse City, Warren and Ypsilanti. Detailed information about each project is available at www.coolcities.com.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.