Downtown Development Authority

Meeting Times

January - October: 4th Wednesday of every month at 8:00am

November-December: 3rd 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


Match on Main Grant - Accepting Applications!

Coldwater Main Street is accepting applications for Match on Main, a reimbursement grant program provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), now through Wednesday, March 27, 2024. The program serves as a tool to support new or expanding place-based businesses.

 With a minimum 10% match, Match on Main will provide up to $25,000 for projects including technical assistance, building renovations, permanent and semi- permanent activation of outdoor space, and general marketing and technology, among other items. To be eligible, businesses and nonprofits must sell goods or services face-to-face and have a physical location within the downtown. 

 As required by the program, Coldwater Main Street will administer a local application process and select up to two projects for MEDC’s consideration. Applications to Coldwater Main Street will be scored using the eligibility requirements provided by MEDC and a list of local criteria. 

 Coldwater’s local criteria will evaluate projects based on 

  1. Whether the business type was identified by the community as a priority, according to the 2022 Pulse Poll: retailers, restaurants, and experience-based businesses. 
  2. How impactful the project is to diversifying the business and/or experience mix of the district
  3. To what extent businesses are actively involved in downtown projects and programs

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 27 COB*

For full details, full program guidelines are available here.

Download the application here.

*To receive feedback on an application draft or to ask program questions, please contact Audrey Tappenden by March 21; assistance cannot be guaranteed past this point.

Façade Restoration Initiative - Application Review Phase 

Coldwater Main Street has launched a reimbursement-based Façade Restoration Initiative (FRI) grant program to incentivize high-impact, highly visible, and historically appropriate renovations of facades in downtown Coldwater.  The program is funded by a $75,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and $37,500 of matching funds from Coldwater Main Street.  

Applications were due in early February and awards will be announced by early March.

Full details and a program timeline are available in the guidelines linked here.  


Our Main Street baseline summary is complete! After several stakeholder meetings, a public survey, and collection of new market data, the downtown Coldwater baseline summary is available for view. The summary shares the results of the public survey, includes details of the local market, and identifies key areas of focus. Click here for a link to the report.   

Board Members

  • Michael J. Caywood (President)
    Term: October, 2018 - September, 2026
  • Brad Rockey (Vice President)
    Term: March, 1991 - September, 2025
  • Thomas Kramer, Mayor
    Term: November, 2011 - November, 2025
  • Makayla Bendele 
    Term: January, 2021 - September, 2025
  • Matt Biolchini
    Term: November, 2021 - September, 2026
  • Courtney Dirschell 
    Term:  August, 2019 - September, 2024
  • Patrick Kelley
    Partial Term: November, 2022 - September, 2024
  • Anette Booth 
    Term: November, 2023 - September, 2027
  • Vacancy
    Term: present - September, 2027

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

Low Interest Loans

The DDA  partners with Century Bank and Trust, and Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, to provide low interest loans for façade improvements. 

Note: applicants must apply prior to having any work done. The DDA reviews design plans to ensure projects are appropriate for the historic district. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month.

Click here to apply.

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.

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.

58/60 West Chicago Street - Purchase, Renovations, & Partnership with the Children's Museum of Branch County (CMBC)

The DDA purchased the former Taylor’s building during the November 2019 regular meeting.  During 2022 and 2023, the DDA and the Children's Museum of Branch County created a partnership that set out to relocate the museum to downtown Coldwater. This required a renovation of the DDA's building to suit the museum's needs. Together, they raised $160,000 including a $50,000 match from the Public Spaces, Community Places grant program. This funding, along with a low interest loan to the DDA from the Coldwater City Council, facilitated the museum's relocation and expansion at 58/60 W. Chicago Street.


Patronicity Fundraiser Completed!

This fall we hosted a public fundraiser to raise money towards the relocation and expansion of the Children's Museum of Branch County to Downtown Coldwater! Thanks to our generous community, we raised over $70,000, helping us earn an additional $50,000 from the MEDC Match on Main program. Funds raised are being used for renovations and museum exhibits.

More information about the museum's relocation and expansion is available here.

Match on Main Recipients

This year, the DDA's application to Match on Main resulted in a $9,029 award for Shemel's Carpet & Interiors. Funds will be used for upgrading their technology systems and using software for high-quality product demonstrations.

In 2022, an $18,000 grant was awarded to El Taco Loco for architectural plans. The plans will help the business plan a restaurant expansion and assess the feasibility of upper story apartment units. 

In 2020, the DDA applied for a Match on Main Grant to support 9 of our downtown businesses impacted by COVID-19 and were one of a handful communities selected to receive grant funds. We received $35,000 through the Match on Main program and distributed awards ranging from $2,000-$10,000. 

Façade Renovations

Funds from the DDA Rebate Program have been earmarked for 11 projects in the 2020 fiscal year. Over $1,000,000 in private investment has been committed to downtown during the first 13 months of the program.

Social Media Growth 

Over 2,300 Facebook followers and individual post reach over 15,000.

Active RFQs for Downtown Properties

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.

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.