rsz downtown storefronts 012Created in 1986 by the City of Dowagiac to address what was then a struggling downtown, the DDA and City of Dowagiac have since transformed our central business district into a showplace of the region. Streetscape improvement projects, coupled with the private investment of property owners, today provides the perfect setting for our growing niche of unique shops, and fine and casual dining.

Due to the close working relationship the DDA enjoys with downtown property owners, it is able to provide services similar to those of a realtor, but free of charge. When a building is available for lease or sale, property owners turn to the DDA to help them market, show and ultimately lease their storefronts.

The DDA program director also assists individuals as they prepare to open their business, easing communications with fellow city offcials, such as the Building Inspector, who issues permits for occupancy, signage and construction.

Property owners and even tenants can take advantage of the Facade Incentive & Architectural Design Services Program. Matching funds are provided up to $2,000 per storefront for either the historic or tasteful renovation of the front facade. To date, 95 percent of the storefronts on Front Street have been renovated using this program.

Latest News from your Chamber

  • June 1st, 2019

    Long 18-Month Wait for the Right Storefront is Over!

    One of the longest waits for an open storefront in Dowagiac came to an end in May with the opening of Don and Erica Pye's new business, 269 Apparel, within Donker Shopping Plaza.
     
    At the May 1 ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mayor Don Lyons shared advice given to him by his father. "Son, the harder you work, the luckier you will be."
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  • June 1st, 2019

    Chamber Spotlight Shines on C. Wimberley Auto Mall

    "North or south, there's no better deal!"
     
    This successful advertising slogan has not only embedded itself into the landscape of our minds, it also touts the two locations of C. Wimberely Auto Group, which employs more than 60 people.
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  • June 1st, 2019

    Art Found Gallery Enhances Dowagiac's Apppreciation of the Arts

    The infusion of art in a community speaks to both the economic vitality of a city and how the community sees itself.
     
    As City and Chamber leaders May 15 cut the ribbon on Dowagiac's newest gallery, Art Found, owner Steve Roll and his wife, Mary Rose, were greeted with open arms.
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