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
- A grant to enable the Parks & Recreation Department to build a new structure for the Ann Arbor Farmers Market
- A grant to the Michigan Theater Foundation to restore the State Theater’s Art Deco Marquee
DDA Brownfield Grants
The mission of the DDA is to spark private reinvestment within the DDA district and strengthen downtown. An important way for the DDA to accomplish its mission is to provide a DDA grant as the local match to support State-eligible Brownfield projects in the DDA district. DDA Brownfield Grant Policy (PDF)
DDA Partnership Grants
The purpose of the DDA Partnerships Grant program is to work in partnership with a private developer to install downtown infrastructure improvements that might otherwise be installed by the DDA, have a broad public benefit, and that have the potential to trigger additional private investment. These improvements have been called out in the DDA’s Five Year Project Plan, the Downtown Street Framework Plan, the City’s Capital Improvements Plan (CIP), and/or identified as high need through the City’s asset modeling and management process. DDA Partnership Grant Policy (PDF)
Ann Arbor’s Downtown Energy Saving Grant Program Grants
Over 118 downtown Ann Arbor businesses 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.
In support of its mission to undertake public improvements and attract new private investments in the downtown, the Ann Arbor DDA continues to allocate funds to subsidize the cost of graffiti-removal products for downtown businesses and building owners in 2015.
In 2010 the City of Ann Arbor amended its graffiti ordinance, requiring property owners to remove graffiti on private property within 7 to 9 days in order to combat tagging which is a nuisance crime that works against quality of life and sense of safety. The DDA has approved a grant annually since that time to be used to provide free graffiti-removal products to downtown property owners.
The DDA’s grant program works in partnership with Anderson’s Paint and Fingerle Lumber Company. These companies have been strong supporters of downtown and this effort in particular. The grant program works as follows:
1. A downtown building or business owner finds their building or sign tagged with graffiti.
2. They visit one of the following businesses to obtain free anti-graffiti supplies:
o Anderson’s Paint, 2386 W. Stadium Blvd | (734) 995-4411
o Fingerle Lumber, 617 S. Fifth Ave | (734) 663-0581
3. Necessary information includes business name and address to ensure the location is within the DDA Boundary, and thus eligible under the grant program.
4. Graffiti is removed or covered up in accordance with the City Ordinance
In addition to offering paint remover and other supplies, Anderson’s and Fingerle staff can offer expert advice on the best way to address the damage, which is important because many of downtown’s buildings are historic and require special attention. At the end of each month the DDA reimburses these companies for the cost of the anti-graffiti products they’ve dispensed (up to $100 per property).