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GLIN==> Michigan Gov. Designates 20 Projects for Cool Cities Pilot Program



Governor Granholm Designates 20 Projects for Cool Cities Pilot Program
http://www.michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168-29544_29546_29555-94244--,00.html

June 2, 2004
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that 20 Cool Cities
pilot projects will receive catalyst grants of up to $100,000 and will have
access to more than $100 million in state grants, loans, and other
resources.  The initiative, designed to help foster the development of
vibrant, attractive cities and urban centers, is part of Governor Granholm's
economic development plan for Michigan.

The projects receiving grants are located 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.

"Building vibrant, energetic cities is essential to attracting jobs, people,
and opportunity to our state," said Granholm.  "If Michigan is to be
competitive in the 21st century economy, we have to attract new businesses
and retain the highly-educated, talented young people who are crucial to
building and sustaining businesses in today's global marketplace.  I'm
thrilled about the potential of these projects and the positive impact they
will have on their communities and the economic vitality of our state."

Each grant recipient will receive a catalyst grant of up to $100,000, as
well as access to a "resource toolbox" that includes more than 75 of the
state's community improvement grants, loan programs, and assistance
programs.  Together, this "resource toolbox" and the catalyst grants
leverage millions of existing dollars that are now being strategically
directed to revitalization projects that present the best opportunity for
success.

"One of the most exciting aspects of the Cool Cities grant selection process
is that it involved a historic level of collaboration at both the state and
local level," said David Hollister, Director of the Department of Labor and
Economic Growth (DLEG).  "Whether you are talking to a member of one of the
143 cities with a local Cool City Advisory Group or a state team member from
one of the 14 participating departments, people agree that this initiative
has demonstrated an unprecedented level of teamwork and cooperation."

One hundred and fifty-one project applications from 112 Michigan cities were
submitted for the Cool Cities pilot program.  A multi-agency team reviewed
each project, looking for those that demonstrated close partnerships with
existing community organizations and the private sector and offered plans
for creating large-scale neighborhood or community improvement.

The projects not designated as part of this pilot program have been invited
to attend an educational and training session in Lansing in August.  They
will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from the DLEG, the
Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and 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 from the state's resource toolbox.

Following are brief descriptions of the 20 projects receiving the Cool City
pilot program grants.  More detailed information about each project is
available at www.coolcities.com, which launches today as a resource and tool
for Michigan cities and communities.  The state is filled with concept
summaries and case studies, such as the "art hop" in Kalamazoo and youth
entrepreneurship training and concepts to improve tolerance and diversity in
Michigan's communities.  The website also offers complete access to the
Michigan Cool Cities survey findings that will help cities attract and
retain the 21st century workforce.

Alpena - The grant will be used to develop a pedestrian-orientated walkway
through downtown on both sides of the river, providing non-motorized linkage
between the downtown and public and private development projects occurring
along the river.

Bay City - The project is Waterfall Park, to be located at the end of Third
Street and extending to the first bridge to cross the Saginaw River.  The
project is innovative, educational, and incorporates the natural beauty of
the river community.

Detroit - The Greater Downtown Partnership proposes to renovate Shed #2
which will allow an additional 50 vendors to conduct business.  In addition,
the project establishes the Eastern Market neighborhood as a link to the
riverfront and downtown.

Detroit - The Jefferson East Business Association proposes to redevelop
three dilapidated buildings into Entertainment and Technology Incubators.
They will contain 28 residential loft apartments, a TV production studio,
and a number of retail and food service establishments.

Detroit - The Southwest Detroit Business Association proposes the renovation
of the Odd Fellows Hall located in the heart of the Springwells
neighborhood.  It will become a key anchor in this multicultural area.

Ferndale - The Ferndale Downtown Development Authority would use the
catalyst grant to expand the BUILD Program, which offers a 20 percent
reimbursement for exterior building improvements to properties within the
downtown area.  Additional Cool City funding would enable up to five
properties to be added to the program.

Flint - The grant will be used to restore the exterior of the Republic Bank
Building which will become First Street Lofts, a 16-unit loft development in
downtown Flint.

Grand Rapids - The Avenue for the Arts Project includes the historic
renovation of seven buildings, streetscape improvements along with the
creation of public art, murals, and the development of 35 loft apartments.

Grand Rapids - The Uptown Revitalization Project contains a new retail
development utilizing green technology that is compatible with historic
district standards; a fašade improvement program for historic commercial
structures; and a wayfinding design program to increase the walkability of
the Uptown area.

Jackson - The Jackson Armory Arts Project will include the redevelopment of
an abandoned industrial site into a center for the arts and culture,
including 39 affordable loft apartments.

Kalamazoo - The City of Kalamazoo will use the grant monies to move
Smartshop, a unique metalworking school, gallery, and sculpture garden to a
new location on the city's north side.

Marquette - The Marquette Commons Project will consist of a groomed,
refrigerated ice plaza with a skating rink, warming house, a non-motorized
trail and a fountain located near the heart of the city on the site of an
old parking lot and elevated railroad trestle.

Port Huron - The catalyst project is conversion of the Relic Building into
an Art Incubator for artists.  The neighborhood is a vibrant, traditional
downtown neighborhood offering diverse arts and culture in the heart of this
historic city.

Portland - The catalyst project is a boardwalk that will connect the
pedestrian bridge over the confluence of the Grand and Looking Glass Rivers.
The boardwalk will run along the back of the commercial buildings on the 100
block of Kent Street.  The grant will leverage additional funding for the
development of lofts in the buildings.

Saginaw - The catalyst grant will be used to redevelop two currently vacant
buildings into first-floor commercial and second-floor residential uses.
The two buildings are the former Aubry Cleaners building and the Federal
Avenue Building.

Saugatuck - The project involves the renovation of the old Pie Factory into
the Saugatuck Center for the Arts and the enhancement of the adjacent city
parking area, including streetscape improvements on Mason Street and Culver
Street.

Sault Ste. Marie - The project proposes to restore and renovate the classic
and historic Soo Theatre Complex to its original grandeur of the 1930's.
This project is part of the downtown revitalization and will provide
economic development and other economic benefits.

Traverse City - The project will establish an Entrepreneurial Institute to
help instill an independent entrepreneurial culture into the Grand Traverse
community.

Warren - The City Square Project is a two-acre urban park that will contain
a multipurpose improvement that is a fountain in the warmer months and an
ice rink in the winter.  The City Square will be bounded by the new City
Hall/Library, high-density residential and commercial retail, and a
childcare center.

Ypsilanti - Downtown Ypsilanti plans facility improvements to the Riverside
Arts Center and to partner with DTE to expand the project.  The project will
involve the reutilization of a vacant office structure for retail gallery,
studio, office and theater set construction and other Arts Center uses in
Ypsilanti's downtown historic neighborhood.



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