A vital program that has already helped countless businesses upgrade their facilities is the Southwest Detroit Business Association’s Facade Improvement Program. Working with property owners, this program provides financial incentives, architectural design services, financial packaging and technical assistance to produce an attractive storefront that compliments the business district’s overall identity. On average, these projects generate over $7 of private investment for every dollar of matching grants provided. Total investment through this program has resulted in more than $100 million in leveraged improvements.
The program’s impact is evident in the West Vernor business district, helping to transform buildings in the area and improve the overall business climate.
The look and condition of the overall facility of the business is where lasting impressions take hold.
The purpose of Design Guidelines is to assist the owners of commercial property and business owners in making exterior changes to their building that will enhance the structure, as well as its surrounding neighborhood. The Design Guidelines encourage good design, help to strengthen and preserve West Vernor Main Street and Springwells by addressing issues that business and property owners face in planning commercial building improvements. This document represents a guide for improving the physical environment to ensure the creation of viable, healthy commercial areas and a means of enhancing the economic condition and the overall image of business districts in the area.
This set of guidelines presents aspects of a storefront change and what is acceptable and not acceptable based on the National Main Street Center model using the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.