Thursday, July 20, 2006

"Cool": Three Detroit projects get a boost

Three Detroit-based development projects got a financial boost yesterday courtesy of the Cool Cities program, an initiative aimed at revitalizing Michigan cities.

On Wednesday, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm announced that projects of the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC), Focus: Hope and the Arab American and Chaldean Council (ACC) had been selected as 2006 Cool Cities designees.

The projects - along with four others in Dearborn, Pontiac, Benton Harbor and Flint - get access to select "tool box" resources like first priority to state grant funds and tax credits and Cool Cities Neighborhood in Progress signs. With the exception of the Dearborn project, all of them also get a $100,000 catalyst grant.

-The GRDC plans to use its catalyst grant to continue in-progress street facade improvements in the Grand River commercial district, as well as to repair neighborhood entrances and the site of a proposed neighborhood farmer's market.

-Focus: HOPE will use its $100,000 grant to create a springboard for new housing and retail in its neighborhood. The project also calls for a new outdoor interactive environment in the neighborhood.

-With its Cool Cities Neighborhood in Progress designation, the ACC plans to create Artisana, an art gallery for Arab-American, Chaldean and African-American artists who are currently without a local gallery to showcase their art. The ACC has already demolished a building to make room for the new gallery.

Part of Granholm's plan to maintain jobs and attract new workers and companies to the state, the Cool Cities initiative began in 2004. The Governor will announce the remaining 2006 Cool Cities designees later today in Grand Rapids and Lansing.

For more information on Michigan's Cool Cities Grants and Program, please click here.

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