Thursday, September 23, 2004
$100,000 Grant Awarded to Promote Creative Urban Development
On behalf of Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, officials from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation presented a $100,000 grant to the Greater Downtown Partnership of Detroit to help renovate Shed #2 in Detroit's Eastern Market into a year-round facility. The funding is part of the Governor's Cool Cities pilot program, designed to foster the development of vibrant, attractive cities and urban centers. The program is a key element of the Governor's overall economic development strategy for Michigan.
"Eastern Market is a jewel in the City of Detroit and by investing in this project we will strengthen its presence for years to come," said Granholm. "The market and its surrounding neighborhood will continue to attract visitors and serve residents, making Detroit a more vibrant city."
The Greater Downtown Partnership will use the funding to help renovate Shed #2 in Detroit's Eastern Market into a high-quality source for seasonal, locally grown fresh produce. When fully leased out, Shed 2 will hold 50 fresh food growers, including organic food growers, urban farmers and other Michigan growers. Another aspect of the project will establish the Eastern Market neighborhood as a link to the riverfront and downtown through a greenway link known as the Dequindre Cut.
"Eastern Market is a gem, much loved by our greater Detroit community," said Katherine Beebe, President of the Greater Downtown Partnership. "We have been working with Eastern Market property owners, businesses, vendors and visitors to create a unanimously supported plan for renovating the historic market sheds and creating the Market as a vibrant anchor for our revitalized downtown community. We are so glad the Governor and others are joining us as partners in making this plan a reality."
In addition to the state grant, the Greater Downtown Partnership 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.
"The Eastern Market project is among a highly innovative group of Cool Cities projects," Hollister said. "All of the applications were excellent. It was difficult to choose only 20 projects."
Teams associated with projects not designated as part of the pilot program are eligible to attend an educational and training session to 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.
"Many state agencies have come together to lend their knowledge and expertise to making this program a success," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "By cooperating and pooling our resources, we are able not only to stretch the state's dollar a lot further but make these projects a reality more quickly."
Additional projects designated to receive Cool Cities funding are in Alpena, 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.