IM DDA provides $4,000 grant for Stephens Real Estate office improvements

STEPHENS REAL ESTATE was awarded a $4,000 Downtown Assistance Program grant, Owner/broker Ryan Gordon receives the funds from Kenzie Williamsen, DDA event coordinator; Mindy Wittock DDA program director; and Carol Quandt and Betsy Sawicky, DDA Business Development Committee members. (Terri Castelaz/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Iron Mountain Downtown Development Authority has selected Stephens Real Estate at 1320 Carpenter Ave. for one of its Downtown Assistance Program grants.

Stephens received $4,000 to go toward adding new, energy-efficient windows to its building.

Since purchasing the building in 2020, owner/broker Ryan Gordon has continued to make upgrades. “We are doing the renovating in three phases,” Gordon said.

Replacing the old windows became a priority, as space heaters were needed in employee offices, Gordon said. “They were as old as the building — you could feel the draft coming through,” he said.

A total of 16 windows were replaced since last spring, at a cost of $12,000.

STEPHENS REAL ESTATE used the Downtown Development Authority’s Downtown Assistance Program grant funding toward installing new energy-efficient windows on its building. Here, Gordon assists associate broker Cindi Strehlow in her office. (Terri Castelaz/Daily News photo)

“It’s really wonderful to award these funds to Stephens Real Estate to help with the costs of replacing these drafty windows,” DDA Program Director Mindy Wittock said.

Stephens moved to its current location in mid-1990s, which was the last time the building received any renovations.

“We are excited to bring the building into a modern state,” Gordon said.

Improvements will continue, he said, as they will replace all the flooring as well as enhance the facade.

“A huge thank you to the DDA — it’s definitely helpful, taking some of the edge off,” Gordon said of the grant. “They have been fantastic to work with.”

“It’s really nice to see some businesses on this side of the downtown be able to get some of this money,” Wittock said.

The DAP grant was created in an effort to maintain and enhance the integrity of downtown Iron Mountain properties and businesses, as well as further promote growth and development within the city’s downtown commercial core.

The purpose is to provide financial incentive and assistance to property owners looking to complete projects, or procure professional services of various types to promote and enhance their business activity.

“This program is intended to promote positive, visual change and encourage improvements to properties or businesses that are in a prominent location,” Wittock said. “It’s nice be able to delegate some of that money to help our local businesses makes those repairs that can seem daunting.”

The DDA has two grant programs for businesses in the downtown district — the Façade Improvement Grant Program and the Downtown Assistance Program.

Application for the DAP grant are now being accepted and are due May 23 at City Hall. For more information, details and guidelines, go to the DDA website at www.downtownironmountain.com.

These grants are made possible through downtown fundraising events such as Brew Fest, Italian Fest and Oktoberfest; through sponsorships and donations; and also through the DDA millage.

“All our festivals are truly fundraisers — this is how we are give back to our community,” Wittock said.

[Editor’s note: This article was reprinted in Friday’s The Daily News due to press issues when it first was published Tuesday.]


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