Facade Improvement Program

134 W. Harris Street106 S. Mitchell Street102 S. Mitchell 


For more information, contact the DDA Director at (231) 775-0181 x 101. 


The Cadillac Downtown Development Authority (DDA), in partnership with the City of Cadillac and the Cadillac Downtown Fund, has created a Downtown Façade Improvement Program that is intended to directly stimulate façade design improvements to downtown buildings in a coordinated fashion, stressing overall compatibility with the historical significance and uniqueness of Cadillac's downtown structures.

Program Eligibility and Requirements

A property must be located within the legal boundaries of the Downtown Development District to be eligible. An owner or tenant with multiple buildings may apply once for each building. The following criteria will also apply:

  • Only buildings with retail, commercial, or professional uses consistent with desired downtown land uses are eligible.
  • Properties must be structurally sound, roof intact, and meet basic public safety codes. Proposed façade improvements must also comply with all applicable building and zoning codes.
  • Awnings and signs are eligible expenses under program guidelines, and are encouraged as part of a comprehensive façade restoration project.
  • Any façades abutting public rights of way are eligible projects. This includes rear façades, as well as highly-visible façades. Side façades that do not abut public rights of way will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Building owners or tenants are eligible. If a tenant applies for assistance, he/she must provide written proof that the building owner has authorized proposed improvements.
  • Applicants will be required to complete an application form provided by the Cadillac DDA.
  • All required municipal / governmental permits must be obtained prior to the start of any construction.


View the Facade Improvement Program Application (PDF).

  • Applicants who wish to apply for the low-interest loan will complete an application, which in turn will be reviewed by the Downtown Façade Design Review Committee.
  • Once approved by the Committee, the application will then be forwarded to the participating lender of the applicant's choice for loan approval. Participating banks include: Chemical Bank West, Fifth Third Bank, Citizens Bank, and Firstbank.
  • Eligibility, terms, and conditions of private financing will be determined on an individual basis subject to the normal credit-granting criteria of participating lenders.
  • Construction must commence within 60 days of approval for funding and be completed within 120 days after the construction start date.
  • Requests for time extensions must be submitted in writing and will only be approved upon the express written consent of the Cadillac DDA.

Other Loan Guidelines

  • The maximum loan amount is $30,000 per project. At least 1/3 of the loan shall come from funds provided by a participating bank at 0.5% below prime APR fixed. A maximum of $10,000 of the loan shall come from funds provided by the Cadillac DDA at 0% interest. Thus, the interest rate paid on each loan shall be based on a blend of 0.5% below prime APR fixed and 0% interest funds.
  • Installment payments of principal and accrued interest will be paid monthly, with a maximum term of three to five years, subject to agreement between the applicant and participating bank. Additionally, loans shall amortize over five or 10 years, subject to agreement between the applicant and participating bank. After maturity, the loan may be subject to an additional financing period until full payment at the then current 0.5% below prime rate fixed, if the applicant's previous record is satisfactory.
  • All out-of-pocket closing costs and recording fees will be the responsibility of the borrower.
  • Collateral will be required to secure the loan if deemed necessary by the participating bank.
  • At least two licensed contractor quotes are recommended. The applicant will not necessarily be required to accept the low bidder.
  • Building owners or tenants are eligible. If a tenant applies for assistance, he/she must provide written proof that the building owner has authorized proposed improvements. Evidence of an executed lease for a term equal to the loan period will also be required.

Project Review and Selection Process

Façade Review Committee members and City staff will work closely with property owners and tenants to determine initial eligibility under program guidelines. Once the initial scope of work has been determined, the applicant will present the project to the Façade Review Committee. The Committee will meet as needed to provide input, make suggestions to the scope of work, and approve or deny individual projects. Upon approval by the Committee, the application will be sent to the participating bank of the applicant's choice for financing.

Ineligible Uses of Program Funds

Program loan funds may not be utilized for any of the following uses: 

  • Refinancing existing debt 
  • Property acquisition 
  • Interior improvements and/or furnishings 
  • Site plan, building, or sign permit fees 
  • Property appraisal costs, legal fees, or loan origination fees 
  • Labor costs paid to the owner / applicant or relatives of the owner / applicant

Rights Reserved

The Cadillac DDA reserves the right to reject any and all applications. The specific program guidelines detailed herein are subject to revisions or amendment by the Façade Committee. The Cadillac DDA may discontinue this program at any time, subject to the availability of program funding and the participating bank's continued participation.