A state grant will help with improvements to the facades of 3 downtown Howell businesses.

The First National Bank, Cobb-Hall Insurance, and Uptown Coffeehouse building will all benefit from a Community Development Block Grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Downtown Development Authority Director Cathleen Edgerly said that the final design plans are now beginning to come in. First National Bank’s has been approved by the Howell Main Street design committee with a recommendation for the Downtown Development Authority to do so as well.

Edgerly said that she was impressed by the renderings and how well they fit into Howell’s historic architecture and design guidelines. She noted that whenever a business can improve their property and aesthetics, it not only helps the business’s property value, but also that of the community around it. The improvements to the First National Bank building will cost approximately $242,000 total, Edgerly said, at the DDA’s regular meeting Wednesday night. That will be paid for by combination of grant money, matching funds from the DDA, and money the bank is investing in itself, as well.

Edgerly said she hopes that all 3 projects can be completed this year, and that the DDA is looking forward to helping a new round of businesses with their facades in 2018. (MK)