From the Downtown Development Authority …

The Hamtramck Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is pleased to announce the beginning of its third façade improvement program. Funding for this project has been provided by the Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant and City of Hamtramck.

The façade improvement project is a matching grant project and will fund up to 75% of any project $20,000 or less. This means that the grant funding will match your investment 75 cents for every 25 cents you invest, up to a maximum of $15,000. We will only fund improvements to the façade of your building, such as new windows, signage, or brick work and will only fund improvements that comply with the Hamtramck DDA Storefront Design Guidelines. The program also allows for funding of up to $2500.00 for architectural design and site plans.

Program Goals:
To encourage property owners and tenants to make exterior building façade improvements and/or install new or improved signage that complies with the Design Guidelines. To restore buildings to their historic appearance and to improve the overall appearance of Hamtramck’s Business Districts.


Eligible Properties:
Any building zoned commercial or mixed use that contains a store front, within the City of Hamtramck.

Eligible Structures:
• All existing commercial or mixed-use buildings located within the City of Hamtramck.
• The entire building meets current code requirements (except for proposed façade improvements).
• There are no delinquencies with city, county, state, or federal taxes.
• Proposed improvements comply with Hamtramck code requirements and the Design Guidelines.

Eligible Applicants:
Property owners or leaseholders of commercial property within the City of Hamtramck. In the case of leaseholders, a notarized letter of permission from the property owner is required.

Eligible Improvements:
The Hamtramck DDA and its review committee reserve the right to determine the eligibility of all items in a project’s scope of work. This determination shall be conclusive and final. All grant-funded improvements must be permanent and fixed in type and/or nature. Improvements must meet Hamtramck DDA Storefront Design Guidelines and all City of Hamtramck code requirements including zoning, building and safety codes and the applicant must obtain any necessary permits. Façade features eligible to be restored, renovated or constructed with grant dollars include but are not limited to:

• Exterior Walls
• Windows
• Doors
• Storefronts
• Painting of exterior surfaces
• Cleaning and/or repainting of brick or stone
• Entrance/Exit improvements (including ADA)
• Awnings (must meet Design Guideline criteria)
• Exterior architectural features
• Exterior lighting
• Interior rolling security gates
• Signage
• Seasonal Use (i.e. sidewalk café) (must meet requirements proscribed by Hamtramck Sidewalk Café application)
• Roof work relating to other storefront improvements

Improvements must be completed within six (6) months of the start of construction.

With all grant funded projects, restoration is preferable to renovation. Restoration is the attempt to return the façade to its original appearance through the use of authentic materials and the faithful replication of the building conditions shown in old photos or records. Renovation projects should be sensitive to the historic appearance of the building, but may include modern materials and design elements.

Ineligible Costs
The applicant may not use grant funds for any of the following:

• Expenses incurred prior to application approval
• Property acquisition
• Mortgage, land contract financing or loan fees
• Site plan, sign or building permits
• Appraiser, attorney, architect (unless DDA provided such services) or interior decorator fees
• Furnishings, trade fixtures, display cases, counters, or other items taxed as personal property
• Signs/Awnings that do not meet the criteria set forth in the Hamtramck DDA Storefront Design Guidelines.


– Complete the enclosed application and return to

Hamtramck Downtown Development Authority
3401 Evaline
Hamtramck, MI 48212

Deadline: You must have the application submitted to the DDA by the 15th of any given month. All applications received after the 15th will be reviewed the next month. The grant is available until the fund is depleted.

Additional documentation to be submitted with application:

– Two color photographs of the current building façade (please include date on the back of each photo).
– $100 non-refundable application fee (please make checks payable to the Hamtramck Downtown Development Authority).
– Building owners must submit proof of ownership.
– If the applicant does not own the building, a notarized letter of permission from the property owner is required.


– Completed applications will be reviewed by the Hamtramck DDA Façade Improvements Committee. All proposed improvements must meet the requirements of the SHPO (State Historical Preservation Office) environmental checklist and the DDA Storefront Design Guidelines.
– You will receive a letter from the Hamtramck DDA, letting you know if your project has been approved, put on a waiting list, or denied.

What will happen if your project is selected:

– The applicant must provide proof of paid taxes, and a $500 deposit, which will be returned after the project is completed. The $500 deposit is a good faith deposit which will be used to cover expenses incurred by the DDA if the applicant decides not to proceed with the improvements after an architect has been retained and services provided.

Select an Architect/Prepare Design:

– If you select a DDA endorsed architect, they will contact you to set up an introductory meeting and discuss design recommendations and a budget. This information will then be reported back to the Hamtramck DDA. You also have the option of selecting an architect on your own; however, if you do so, façade improvement funding cannot be applied toward architectural design service costs.
– The architect will prepare design drawings and the scope of work for the façade of your building.
– The architect and DDA project managers will review the design drawings and scope of work with you.
– If plan commission approval is necessary, the DDA project managers will submit the approved plans to the Hamtramck Plan Commission for their approval and recommendation for approval to City Council.

Select a Contractor:

– You are responsible for securing three (3) contractor bids for your project. Then, contact the DDA project managers to set up a meeting to review these bids. Please send copies of the bids to the project managers at least one week before your meeting.
– The applicant will then enter into a contract with one of the contractors. The signed bid estimate/contract should include the cost of improvements, as well as start and end dates for the project.
– The DDA project managers will review the contract between the applicant and contractor to ensure that it complies with the façade improvement grant procedures.
– The DDA will then enter into a grant contract with you, the applicant. The grant contract will include the cost of improvements, amount of grant funding, and the start and expected completion dates for the project.

While work is taking place:

– The DDA project managers will schedule visits to your building as necessary while improvements are underway. At these visits, we will review the progress of the work, and document the progress for publicity purposes.
– Because federal grant money is being used the DDA project managers will also visit the worksite to interview contractors/workers to make sure that all federal oversight requirements (competitive wage, etc.) are met.
– After the work is finished, the DDA project managers will make a final visit your building to ensure that the work has been completed according to the approved design drawings.

Receiving your grant funds and original deposit:

– Within two weeks of the completion of your project, you will need to submit the following to the DDA project managers:
o Copies of paid bills.
o Waiver of Lien signed by each contractor that work has been completed and their payment has been received.
o Statement of satisfaction (to be provided by the DDA project managers at the final site visit) signed by the applicant.
o Copies of any permits required by the City of Hamtramck.
o Request for payment.
– After the above documents have been received, you will receive payment of your matching grant.


– If you have any questions or concerns about the Hamtramck DDA façade improvement program, please contact Darren Grow at (313) 870-0346.

Note: For publicity purposes, the Hamtramck DDA reserves the right to photograph buildings receiving façade improvement funds and provide information to various media sources.

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