City of Kalamazoo cleaning up facades of businesses
The town of Kalamazoo has completed exterior renovations at three businesses as well as 15 other projects are being planned right now. Property owners are waiting for an opportunity to receive a fresh style.
The city recently completed three projects in the Eastside neighborhood. They are located at East Main Food & Beverage 1614 E. Main St. The property is where a childcare facility is planning to relocate to 1701 E. Main St. and also a site that will be used as a commercial space located at 1617 E. Main St.
The project, which was funded by the Foundation for Excellence, totaled $75,000, Neighborhood Business and Special Projects Coordinator Melody Daacon told MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette.
The idea is to remove barriers to entrepreneurship the first time developers and business owners added.
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“Vacancies or blight within a neighborhood have a direct correlation to increased crime,”t Daacon said. Similarly, renovations to commercial properties in a neighborhood can be directly linked to the reduction in crime.
Organizers hope that the tangible changes will encourage more positive developments in the area.
“People see it,” Daacon declared.
The grant funds $25,000 worth of exterior work at each site. The businesses also receive $25,000 for interior work with the grant money to prepare their spaces for business use or enhance existing business interior spaces with works like flooring, plumbing, or even drywall explained.
The city has helped a few business owners upgrade their facilities’ exteriors, with funding from the Foundation for Excellence, and more than a dozen are in the works. https://t.co/F73cmV0HCZ
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The project also helps bring buildings up to the current codes, she explained.
The work is part of a collaboration project together with an organization called the Eastside Neighborhood Association and the city’s office for Community Planning and Economic Development. The three facade projects were bid out and completed by Valley Vision Construction & Development, a construction/developer business in the city, she said.
The city has received stimulus funding from the American Rescue Plan Act for the plan to go forward. A further $375,000 has been set aside for 2022. This includes 15 new facades for commercial buildings within the city’s limits, which will be completed by the year 2023. Daacon said.
At present, there is an open waiting list of more than fifty properties explaining the city isn’t yet in a position to name the companies as contracts are still being completed.
The project will comprise two properties within the Central Business District; four in the Edison neighborhood Four in the Northside and one located in South Westnedge; one in Southside and another in Stuart.
Businesses are able to apply for the program by clicking here Officials anticipate accepting additional applications in the coming months.
The program provides grants for the operation of privately-owned, for-profit companies that are located within those in the Shared Prosperity neighborhoods of Northside, Eastside and Edison. Businesses must commit to expanding, rehabilitating and/or opening an additional business, Daacon said.
The eligibility for funding is based on improvements to any wall facing the street of the establishment, which includes American Disability Act code improvements including ramps or lighting, entrance doors, windows that face the street as well as awnings or painting. The funds are distributed through an agreement between the city, the owner of the business and contractor following the completion of an auction process, she added.