Downtown Development Authority

Economic Banner

Meeting Times

4th Wednesday of every month at 8:00am

For meeting minutes, Click Here.


Henry L. Brown Municipal Building
1 Grand Street
Coldwater, MI 49036
City Council Chambers
People Enjoying the Day in Downtown Coldwater
My Post (2)
My Post Copy (1)

Match on Main Street - Seeking local business applications

The Match on Main – COVID-19 Response Program will provide funding to local downtown management organizations state-wide to administer to eligible small businesses located in traditional commercial districts, including downtowns, The Coldwater DDA will apply for funding which would in turn be disbursed to downtown businesses, should the DDA be selected as a recipient of a Match on Main grant. 

Prior to the DDA submitting an application to the Match on Main Street program, we must first choose local businesses to include in our application. 

To be considered, please fill out an application and review the requirements below.

  • The business was affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, 
  • The business is for-profit and headquartered in Michigan 
  • The business has 25 employees or less 
  • The business sells products or services face to face within a traditional downtown, neighborhood or commercial district, or area planned and zoned for concentrated development 
  • The business has not received or been approved to receive MSF Small Business Relief Program funding or an MEDC Match on Main grant within the last 24 months. 
  • Low-to-Moderate Income Owner *MEDC Preference, not required

In addition to the criteria above, local entities are encouraged to choose criteria preferences of their own. In an effort to differentiate applicants and be transparent about the selection process, the DDA will consider the following factors as preferential when reviewing and scoring local business applications:

  • Businesses who have taken advantage of business support programs offered by the SBDC, Chamber, or other organizations within the past 12 months 
  • Businesses who have received local incentives in the past and
  • Businesses with an existing lease contract and/or mortgage
  • Low/Mod income owners and/or located within the local Opportunity Zone (also a preference for the program itself)

Real estate holding companies and professional offices (attorneys, insurance providers, accountants, realtors, financial institutions, etc.) will not be eligible.

Applications are due no later than Sunday, May 24 at 5:00 PM. Late submissions will not be scored or considered.

application graphic MoM Opens in new window


Under the guidance of the DDA, with assistance from the City’s Neighborhood Services Department, the Committee will be comprised of 3 citizen members and representatives from the City Planning and Historic District Commissions. The Branch District Library, American Legion, Altrusa, and the Coldwater Garden Club have also been asked to designate a representative to serve on the Committee.

  • Michael J. Caywood
    Term: October, 2018 - September, 2022
  • John Rucker 
    Term: October, 2019 - October, 2023
  • Thomas Kramer, Mayor
    Term: November, 2011 - November, 2021
  • Jenny Rakocy
    Term: November, 2012 - September, 2021
  • Brad Rockey
    Term: March, 1991 - September, 2021
  • Julie Stratos
    Term May, 1997 - September, 2020
  • Jennifer Wingard
    Term: August, 2016 - September, 2023
  • Val Johnson
    Term: September, 2018 - September, 2022
  • Courtney Dirschell 
    Term:  August, 2019 - September, 2020

Term Length

Authority Member term length is 4 years.

Beautiful Downtown Coldwater

Located on historic Heritage Route US-12, just west of I-69 and only 12 miles from the Indiana border, Downtown Coldwater has the charm of a Victorian era city but with modern amenities such as a free Electric Vehicle Charging Station.

Our historic downtown storefronts with their unique architecture, welcome you in to browse (and hopefully purchase!) everything from specialty gifts and jewelry to quality furniture. Feeling hungry? Then enjoy a tasty meal at one of our many coffee shops, restaurants or pubs or share your picnic lunch with a friend in Four Corners Park.

​Current Projects & Activities

​Rebate Program


The DDA offers rebates towards façade improvement projects. This year six buildings have taken on exterior renovations with the assistance of the rebate program, while several others have been approved for funding and are in the process of completing their improvements. For program details, reach out to Audrey Tappenden, Economic Development Assistant.

Print Advertisements

We continue to place print advertisements in publications with regional and widespread impact. These include the Coldwater Country Visitor’s Guide, Lake Access Magazine, and the Tibbits playbill.

Social Media

In 2019 Facebook and Instagram pages were created for Downtown Coldwater. We are happy to be able to reach our local and regional audiences using these platforms, and to create positive messaging for the downtown. We now create our own content and share the events, programs, sales, and good news of our fellow downtown businesses and organizations.

Bike Racks

Bike racks have been designed, purchased, and delivered! In spring of 2020 we will be able to install these racks, making our downtown even more accessible to its visitors.

Seasonal Planters & Decorations 

We pride ourselves on having beautiful flowers and decorations on display each season throughout downtown. Our large planters are a crowd favorite in the summer. Fall brings a change of color and materials before festive holiday décor and lights are installed in November and December.

Banner Updates

Banner designs and color schemes are often updated throughout downtown. Banners are used to label parking lots, to celebrate visitors to our region, and to celebrate the seasons.

“Taylor’s Building” Purchase

The DDA purchased the former Taylor’s building during the November 2019 regular meeting. It is the goal of the Authority to use this building as a development tool and to offer incentives to the developer(s) of a project which meets the goals of the community and our downtown overall. Access it's RFQ by clicking here.


Façade Renovations

Funds from the DDA Rebate Program have been earmarked for 11 projects. Over $1,000,000 in private investment has been committed to downtown during the first 13 months of the program.

Social Media Growth 

Nearly 800 Facebook followers in first 6 months and individual post reach up to 6,000.

Sponsored Events

Business for Breakfast- Michigan Retailers Association.

The DDA is sponsoring the February 2020 Business-for-Breakfast event through the Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce. Meegan Holland from Michigan Retailer’s Association will give a presentation on Downtown Revitalization.


City Seeks Development Partner

The City of Coldwater seeks a development partner for the rehabilitation of 10 S. Monroe Street, and the opening of a downtown restaurant or retail store. 

Submissions welcome until 

Small Town Design Initiative Moves Forward

The Coldwater Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is taking the next step towards revitalization of Four Corners Park with the formation of the Small Town Design Initiative (STDI) Project Steering Committee.
4 Corners Park Plan
This core group will review the STDI Master Design Concept and draft a 5 year improvement plan containing short and long term projects and activities and the identification of community partnerships necessary to accomplish them. Based on the 5 year improvement plan, a final Master Plan with project specific implementation and funding strategies will be created. At that time, additional partnership organizations and community members with a special interest in the park, or a specific project outlined in the Master Plan, will be invited to serve as subcommittee members.

The STDI is a program of Michigan State University's (MSU) Planning and Landscape Architecture Department which has worked with many small communities throughout Michigan who've utilized the design concepts provided by the STDI program to further their beatification and community revitalization efforts. The program was brought to Coldwater as a joint effort between the City of Coldwater and the Coldwater Downtown Development Authority (DDA).


As part of its effort to carry out the goals and objectives of the Authority, the Coldwater DDA has hired the following businesses for contractual services over the course of 2019:

Neitzert’s Greenhouse & Florist

Neitzert’s installs and maintains floral decorations seasonally in Downtown Coldwater.


Linko assisted the DDA in kicking off its social media presence by creating its Facebook and Instagram pages, and developing some post content. The 6-month contract has been fulfilled.

Unspent Revenues

Unspent revenues that accumulated during any of the past 5-10 fiscal years were set aside for use towards large and/or long-term projects. Some of the DDA’s net revenues resulted from the annual budget while other surpluses were realized from a building sale. These positive net revenues have been deployed for parking lot improvements and renovations, development opportunities, the façade improvement rebate program, and other projects.