Monday, September 20, 2004
$100,000 Grant Awarded to Southwest Detroit Business Association
On behalf of Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, a Michigan Economic Development Corporation official presented a $100,000 grant today to the Southwest Detroit Business Association to help finance renovation of the historic Odd Fellows Hall located at 8701 West Vernor as part of the Governor's Cool Cities pilot program. 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 project will build on the cultural and historical richness of southwest Detroit to bring economic development and jobs to this community," said Granholm. "Enhancing the economic and cultural attractiveness of our largest city brings dividends for the state as a whole."
The Southwest Detroit Business Association (SDBA) will use the funding The finished project will house SDBA offices as well as retail shops and a prospective cultural tourism center.
"We can't thank the Governor's administration enough for recognizing our growing immigrant community, both Latino and Middle Eastern, and each resident and business owner's contribution to southwest Detroit's vitality," said SDBA President Kathy Wendler. "The Odd Fellow Hall completes the renovation of four historic buildings that adds over 60 residential units and 30,000 square feet of commercial space."
In addition to the state grant, the SDBA will have access to resources that include 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.
"All of the applications were truly cool, but this proposal was among the best," said David Hollister, director of the Department of Labor and Economic Growth. "The Southwest Detroit Business Association should be commended for its ongoing efforts to revitalize and showcase this unique region of Detroit."
Teams associated with projects not designated as part of the pilot program were eligible to attend an August educational and training session to meet with representatives from DLEG and MEDC along with the 14 participating state departments to discuss how they could improve their applications for the next round of grants and determine what other resources might be available.
"Many state agencies worked together to make Cool Cities happen," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "Revitalizing our cities requires collaboration. 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.