Program Description
The purpose of the Façade Improvement Program is to assist property owners and tenants who wish to improve historic buildings and/or restore historic architectural features to facades of commercial buildings anywhere within the Highland Station district.

Two types of grants are available: a Façade Grant that will assist with exterior improvements and a Signage Grant for creative and unique signs that are compatible with the building and the character of the district. Both grants require matching funds from the property owner or tenant at a 1:1 ratio.

Eligible Projects

Eligible buildings must have a commercial use on the first floor. Restoration of storefronts and historic architectural elements, replacement of non-conforming, obsolete or inappropriate signs; additions of lighting, awnings/canopies and exterior painting are all eligible for funds.

Restoration Guidelines

Design:  Where practical, all building facades shall be restored to their original period design.  If it is deemed not practical by the Highland Downtown Development Authority (HDDA) Design Committee, then a complementary architectural design shall be used.  All horizontal and vertical features shall be retained (i.e., windows, door openings, etc.) Storefronts shall be designed, constructed, and maintained to complement and enhance the architectural features of the building.  Rehabilitation or remodeling projects should consider upper stories of buildings, taking them into account both in maintenance and design. All accessories, signs and awnings shall likewise harmonize with the overall character of the building and otherwise meet the requirements in the Highland Station Sign Ordinance.
·Scale:  All renovation and/or reconstruction should maintain street level facades that are “pedestrian-friendly,” with abundant first-floor windows, high-quality materials, interesting details, and inviting entrances to scale with pedestrians

Context:  Design for individual buildings should take into account the surrounding structures, seeking to preserve elements that link buildings within a block, such as height, cornices, window patterns or materials
Color:  All color schemes shall accent the building as well as harmonize with adjacent buildings
Exclusions: No Grant monies or matching monies shall be used to perform general repair (such as roof repairs), structural improvements, habitable work or otherwise to meet code to occupy the building. No grants will be made to government-owned properties or to tenants in government-owned properties.

A new 2022 application will be available soon.



Thinking of opening a business in Downtown Highland?

The Highland Downtown Development Authority (HDDA) and Main Street Oakland County values our role that our downtown plays in making Highland a unique place to live, work, dine and shop.  A strong Downtown enhances the quality of life for Highland residents while helping attract visitors to our community.

We are proud to offer a Rent Subsidy Program. The program is designed to provide assistance for (1) new key business activity (retail/dining/arts/entertainment) that choose to locate in our Downtown Main Street area. Additionally, there is also an opportunity for this program to a an existing businesses who is less than 5 years old who require financial assistance. A total of (1) selected applicant will receive a (6) month rental subsidy, along with a one year membership with the Highland White Lake Business Association, valued at $2,500.00


A 2022 application is included below.


Highland Township is located in Oakland County, Michigan, an area often referred to as the “economic engine that drives the state’s economy.” Our community has a unique position as the Gateway into Oakland County from the west.

M-59 is a major east/west trunkline, providing a route from I-96 and US-23 to the west, through much of northern Oakland and southern Macomb Counties. The Township is traversed north/south by Milford Road and Hickory Ridge Road, two minor regional collector routes, serving traffic from the Village of Milford and I-96 to the south.


The State of Michigan owns nearly one-quarter of the township's land area as part of the Highland Recreation Area, attracting a wide variety of sports enthusiasts each year from throughout the region

With open spaces, rolling hills and intact woodlots amidst new residential and commercial development, it is clear that our community that continues to enjoy its rural character and farming heritage while respecting its responsibility to promote economic opportunities for its residents and business owners.

Recognizing the challenge of maintaining a balance between promoting economic vitality and retaining the sense of a rural community, the Highland Downtown Development Authority (HDDA) began in 1999 with a goal to define and promote the unique identity of Highland Township. The basic elements of this identity include:

  • Highland's heritage as a rail station, beginning in 1871
  • Our heritage as a farming and equestrian community
  • Our commitment to preserving the abundant natural resources throughout Highland that include lakes, streams, woodlands and natural open spaces