Buildings and the streetscape of Metro Detroit's "main street" are being targeted by two grant programs administered by
Woodward Avenue Action Association
As a Detroit ONCR (Office of Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization) district, WA3 is able to provide matching facade improvement grants to Woodward-fronting businesses located between McNichols and Eight Mile. Two of the first to take advantage are La Dolce Vita, which is receiving $15,000 and chipping in that same amount towards exterior improvements, and Prime Medical, for which plans are being finalized.
Nicole Brown, WA3's outreach and promotions director, says that ONCR work has also led to an unprecedented collaboration of area stakeholders. "What you're seeing now hasn't really been seen in the last 30 years, the gathering of all these entities together," she says. "To the west, there is a tremendous amount of investment, while on the other side is a high level of disinvestment, so it's wonderful for us to be able to work with the business owners that are left."
Another grant program focuses on municipalities and nonprofits and is available along the entire stretch of Woodward from the Detroit River north to Pontiac. Grants will be awarded in the amounts of $5,000 to $15,000 for projects ranging from crosswalk and pedestrian accessibility improvements, district or community signage or wayfinding, historical identity elements, benches, bike racks and trash receptacles.
Brown says that a great example of a small but meaningful streetscape improvement is the trash cans that line Woodward in the New Center area. "There is significantly less trash along that part of the corridor."
The total $40,000 allocation was provided through Federal Highway National Scenic Byway funding. Applications are available here
or by contacting WA3 executive director Heather Carmona at 248-288-2004. They will be accepted until Nov. 12.
Source: Nicole Brown, WA3
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh