The Village in Grosse Pointe City — seen here in December 2022 — will be getting some new or improved amenities and signs this year due largely to a state grant.

The Village in Grosse Pointe City — seen here in December 2022 — will be getting some new or improved amenities and signs this year due largely to a state grant.

File photo by K. Michelle Moran

State grant will improve outdoor Village amenities

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 6, 2024


GROSSE POINTE CITY — State funding is coming soon for improvements to The Village that should enhance the experience for visitors of the Grosse Pointe City business district.

On Feb. 29, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced that Main Street Grosse Pointe — aka The Village — was one of nine downtown business districts in Michigan that would be receiving a Main Street Vibrancy Grant of $25,000.

“It’s a great opportunity that we wouldn’t have if we weren’t a Michigan Main Street community,” Main Street Grosse Pointe Executive Director Cindy Willcock said. “We’re incredibly honored and blessed that they believed in our vision.”

The Village funds will be used toward a “Get to the Pointes” place-making effort that includes public art, outdoor games, new signs for the Loop social district, street pole banners with Main Street branding, and more seating in the three plaza areas — Kressbach Place, an area by Trader Joe’s and an area by SideStreet Diner and T N Thai Bistro.

“A lot of the things in this project are things that people have asked for,” Willcock said.

Willcock said it’s all designed to encourage visitors to walk around the district and spend more time there, which she hopes will lead to visitors spotting and patronizing stores and other businesses.

“Thriving, attractive downtowns are vital to creating unique places where people want to live, work, visit, and play,” Whitmer said in a press release. “Today’s grants for 9 downtowns across Michigan will help these communities grow their economies, support local small businesses, and improve quality of life. Together, we will continue our comprehensive economic development strategy of investing in people, places, and projects. Let’s get this done so anyone can ‘make it’ in Michigan.”

Refurbishing existing tables for chess and checkers was part of this project. Willcock said they will also be bringing back the giant Jenga set — courtesy of Apple Blossom Baby — and a giant Connect 4 game that used to be inside Moosejaw Mountaineering. Willcock said Moosejaw gifted the game to The Village when they were closing.

“It’s a fun way to remember them,” Willcock said of the Village retailer. “They were a good community partner.”

Work won’t interrupt the forthcoming Music on the Plaza summer concert series.

“It should have a positive impact but no negative or logistical impact,” Willcock said.

She said they hope to add more sturdy outdoor games that can be enjoyed by individuals or small groups, such as cornhole, possibly.

Willcock said work will start “as soon as we can.” She said they’re finalizing planning now so they can get going when they receive the funds.

“We want to get this done this year,” Willcock said. “We’ve had these projects lined up in the queue, just waiting for funding.”

Ideally, she said, they’d like to be done this summer, but if not, at least by September.

The total project cost wasn’t finalized at press time because Willcock said the grant application included the first in a multiphase public art initiative, but she said the work is likely to be about $30,000 to $50,000. There will also be ongoing maintenance costs in the future, as well as the cost of new banners. As with most grants, local matching funds were required.

“The work is never done,” Willcock said.

For more information about upcoming Village events, visit The Village Grosse Pointe Facebook page or