Downtown Development Authority

Beautiful Downtown Coldwater

Located on historic Heritage Route US-12, just west of I-69 and only twelve 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 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.  Both fitness enthusiast and historic preservationist will enjoy the self-guided 1, 3, and 5 mile Historic Walking Tour featuring the architectural gems of Downtown Coldwater and its neighborhoods.


Proposals Sought for Redevelopment of Historic Kerr Hardware and Milnes' Block Properties

The Coldwater Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is currently seeking proposals for the redevelopment of the Kerr Hardware - Milnes' Block properties.  Known to locals as "The Block",  the site consists of four, three story buildings that range in age from 1887 to 1949.  The buildings retain much of their character including original interior doors, trim, windows, and exterior architectural details.

"The Coldwater Downtown Development Authority considers redevelopment of these buildings a priority given their highly visible location on US-12 and their location adjacent to one of our true local treasures, the Tibbits Opera House," said Community Services Director, Keith Baker. "With the Tibbits having recently completed a million dollar facade restoration to make the exterior as visually stunning as its interior, development of "The Block" would create a signature destination truly unique to Coldwater that would greatly complement our downtown business district and enhance tourism efforts in our City."

In considering proposals, the DDA's intent is to select the one which will preserve the buildings' historical nature and have a broad economic impact on Downtown Coldwater.  The DDA would like to see the buildings re-purposed as a mixed-use development , commercial on the first floor and residential above, but remains open to considering proposals offering a different project scope so long as the first floor remains dedicated to commercial uses such as retail or restaurant.

With positive momentum in the commercial and industrial sectors, Mr. Baker believes the timing is right for revitalization of "The Block".   "Across the country downtown areas are enjoying a renaissance as communities have come to understand how important a vibrant downtown is for creating economic vitality and a community's sense of place; likewise visitors are seeking experiences - be they culinary, entertainment, arts, shopping, or recreation related - unique to the places they visit.  When "The Block" once again buzzes with activity, it will reinforce Downtown Coldwater's place as a destination location."


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.

Under the guidance of the DDA, with assistance from the City's Neighborhood Services Department, the Committee will be comprised of three 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. This core group will review the STDI Master Design Concept and draft a five year improvement plan containing short and long term projects and activities and the identification of community partnerships necessary to accomplish them.  Based on the five 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).


Keith D. Baker, AICP, CFM

Community Services Director / Asst City Manager

(517) 279-6911


DDA Board Members