December 19, 2014

Four AuGres businesses to get a makeover

Construction to begin this Fall

By John Fischer|Staff Writer
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AuGRES — Image is everything and AuGres, no exception as a tourist destination, is boosting its image.

This fall, AuGres Care Center, Dunleavy’s Eatery & Pub, Nixon’s Laundromat and K & K Automotive will each get a facelift through the help of a façade improvement program being administered by the city of AuGres in conjunction with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

According to City Manager Pat Killingbeck, the purpose of these façade improvements is to enhance the aesthetics of the downtown area and businesses themselves.

“They’ll also provide construction jobs in the short-term and hopefully some new jobs at these businesses,” she said, adding shoppers tend to be more inclined to enter a business that is eye-catching. “Hopefully the businesses are able to attract more customers after the improvements.”

Killingbeck says the façade improvement program is part of a grant project that was made available in 2007 to private property owners, which she says is extremely rare.

“(AuGres) applied in 2007 but it didn’t move as quickly as we had hoped,” she said. “Some things changed in several state departments that caused it to [drag out] longer.”

She says each business is required to commit to 50-percent of the project cost, while MSHDA picks up the other 50-percent of the tab. However, Killingbeck added MSHDA's portion of the project cost is capped — based on factors concerning each business — around $10,000. The city of AuGres is only responsible for the administration costs — administrator payroll, advertisement time, design costs and bidding process — which can be reimbursed, Killingbeck says.

She also says work would begin this fall and finish up sometime around June 2010.

“[We’re] hoping for success and more inviting shopping,” the city manager said.

The city is accepting bids for the projects until Aug. 28.

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