The DDA works to meet its mission by partnering with government, business, nonprofit, and cultural groups on a variety of projects in which DDA grant dollars are matched with other funds to accomplish important goals. Some of these projects have included:
- Grant to help fund the PowerArt! project bringing art to downtown traffic signal boxes.
- Grant to help fund the Coleman Jewett Memorial art project at the Farmers Market.
- A grant to help the South University Area create a Business Improvement Zone (BIZ)
- Grants for energy-saving improvments, beds, lighting, and other essential elements at the Delonis Center
- Grants to the four downtown area associations to encourage attractive window displays, promotional events, marketing, and other activities to support downtown retailers and restaurants
- Annual grants to support the go!pass and getDowntown Program
- A grant to support Zingerman’s expansion using State Brownfield funds
- A grant to the City of Ann Arbor for $8 million toward the cost of the new court/police building, as well as a $200,000 grant to certify the building’s Gold LEED standard
- Grants for the DDA Energy Saving Grant Program, including energy audits and improvements
- Grants to Avalon Housing and Dawn Farm for downtown and near-downtown affordable housing projects, as well as a grant in support of a County-wide housing needs assessment
- Funding the solar electric demonstration project at the Farmer’s Market
- A grant to the City for the installation of energy efficient LED lights in the DDA District
- Annual grants since 2002 to pay for the Downtown Spring Cleanups, including funds for graffiti coverage, flowers and mulch
- Several grants to the Ann Arbor Housing Commission for Baker Commons
Ann Arbor’s Downtown Energy Saving Grant Program Grants
Over 118 downtown Ann Arbor businesses have received grants for a free energy audit, the first step toward reducing their annual energy usage and costs!
In support of the City’s Green Energy Challenge and the DDA’s goal to encourage a more sustainable downtown, the DDA created the Downtown Energy Saving Grant Program in 2008. In 2008 & 2013 the DDA offered free energy audits and assistance to those interested in making energy saving improvements with applications for financing through PACE or Michigan Saves.
These audits covered a total of 1,659,000 sq ft of downtown commercial space, and noted a total annual energy expense of $3.97 million/yr. The DDA energy audits identified over $4.6 million in potential energy saving improvements that were estimated to save $957,000/yr in energy costs. The DDA program has also helped finance over 30 downtown energy improvement projects totaling $805,000 with an estimated $94,000/yr in energy cost savings, helping Ann Arbor move closer to meeting its sustainability goals.