(Monroe, MI) –  The Monroe Downtown Development Authority has expanded its Façade Reinvestment Program and has changed the name to reflect the new approach.

The now-called Downtown Reinvestment Program will be available to property owners within the defined DDA district, with $40,000 in funding projected in the forthcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2019.

The idea for the change originated with the strategic planning process the DDA completed in 2017.  In that process, the DDA affirmed the redevelopment of downtown buildings as a priority goal.  The rationale was to spur additional reinvestment that might increase property values in the district.

The revisions were developed by the then-Façade Grant Committee after a brainstorming session with the full DDA board and a survey of past participants.  The major changes include:

  • Raising the maximum DDA match to $20,000, while limiting the DDA’s support to thirty percent (30%) of the total project cost,
  • Adding lead and asbestos abatement, mechanical and electrical upgrades, fire separation or suppression and roof replacement under eligible expenses,
  • Offering a pre-application conference to give direction to applicants ahead of project development,
  • Requiring an Unconditional Waiver of Lien from the general contractor completing the work, and
  • Requiring participants to sign an Easement Agreement, whereby they agree to maintain and insure the property for a period of five years.

“The Façade Committee had an enormous task to complete,” said committee chair and DDA board member Scott Goocher.  “It took some time to get it right, but we’re excited to take the program to the next level.  We also want applicants to explore other funding opportunities to leverage dollars as much as possible.”

The DDA will host a gathering of property owners on the morning of Wednesday, May 8, 2019, to roll out the changes and provide an opportunity for potential applicants to ask questions.

“With this program revision, we are creating more value for the downtown property owner,” said DDA Chairman Joe Peruski.  “We will be able to support higher-value projects and help to fill the funding gap for applicants that pursue a holistic approach to revitalizing their buildings.”

Applications from district property owners will be due on Monday, August 12, 2019 and are available here.