Three historic buildings win grants for façade restoration projects in downtown Coldwater

What’s happening: Three historic buildings in downtown Coldwater are about to receive some much appreciated TLC, and the Coldwater Main Street Program is supporting renovations with $112,500 in grants. The grants come as part of the City of Coldwater’s new Façade Restoration Initiative first announced in November 2023.

What it is: The city’s Façade Restoration Initiative supports historically-appropriate façade restorations for historic buildings in downtown Coldwater. The initiative is funded by a $75,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and $37,500 in matching funds from the Coldwater Main Street budget for fiscal years 2024 and ‘25. Successful applicants are required to match a minimum of 25 percent of the grant in private funds.

Why it’s important: The Façade Restoration Initiative was developed as part of Coldwater Main Street’s downtown transformation strategy. The intent is to reinforce the community’s unique architecture and sense of place by revitalizing high-impact and highly visible historic buildings downtown.

What was selected: It’s expected that restoration work will begin this April at the grant-winning sites, which includes Jeannie’s Diner at 14 W. Chicago St.; Southern Roots Salon & Spa at 5 S. Monroe St.; and the offices at 49 W. Chicago St. It’s estimated that total project costs will approach $375,000, with more than $260,000 in private investment. Renovations will include the restoration of 11 historic non-functioning windows; mansard roof removal; updated and refreshed paint schemes; tuck pointing and stucco repair; and building maintenance.

What they’re saying: “The program committee was impressed by the quality of projects submitted and looks forward to seeing these historic renovations take place with the support of the MEDC,” says Audrey Tappenden, Director of Coldwater Main Street and the Branch County Economic Growth Alliance.

What’s next: Following a review of site plans by the city’s Historic District Commission this April, construction will begin. Projects should be completed by September 2024, and a celebration day and ceremonial ribbon-cuttings for each of the buildings will be scheduled for a later date this October.

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