Gov. Whitmer Awards Housing and Economic Development Investments to Cheboygan, Coldwater, and Sault Ste. Marie

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    

October 12, 2021                                                          

Contact: Kathleen Achtenberg, achtenbergk@michigan.org 

Gov. Whitmer Awards Housing and Economic Development Investments to Cheboygan, Coldwater, and Sault Ste. Marie 

LANSING, Mich. - Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) today to announce four projects that will bring growth and much-needed housing to three communities around Michigan that received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The projects are expected to generate a total capital investment of $2.3 million, bringing new vitality and economic activity to the communities of Cheboygan, Coldwater and Sault Ste. Marie. 

"These projects demonstrate our continued focus on supporting community projects that fill critical housing needs for our residents and build a foundation for long-term economic resiliency statewide," Governor Whitmer said. "By contributing to traditional downtown districts and revitalizing underutilized properties, today's projects are helping to reinforce these communities as attractive places to live, work and play." 

"These projects reflect our continued focus on supporting innovative placemaking efforts in communities throughout the state, laying the foundation for long-term economic resiliency for Michiganders," said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. "By focusing on traditional downtown districts, revitalizing public spaces, and preserving historic resources, we are helping to establish vibrant, unique places where people want to live, work, visit, and play." 

Community revitalization projects bringing new vitality to Cheboygan, Coldwater, Sault Ste. Marie 

Bright Sky Consulting plans to rehabilitate a vacant building in downtown Cheboygan into a mixed-use development. When completed, the project will include retail space and one residential unit. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $593,990 and will revitalize a long-vacant building in the heart of Cheboygan, bringing new vibrancy and increased economic activity to the downtown.  

The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a $216,300 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant in support of the project. The city of Cheboygan has provided a $1,000 façade grant in support of the project and has approved a 10-year Commercial Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $30,940. The city of Cheboygan is engaged with MEDC's Redevelopment Ready Communities program. 

"We understand that each and every improvement to downtown Cheboygan means increased growth and interest, bringing more visitors to the area," said Jane Marlow Cutter, Bright Sky Consulting member. "By investing in the downtown, we bolster each other and benefit from each other's success. We appreciate the financial assistance that the MEDC provides for these revitalization efforts."   

The city of Cheboygan is also receiving $335,980 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the Purple Tree Rental Rehab project in downtown Cheboygan. The two-story building currently houses a bookstore and Made in Michigan gift shop on the first floor, while the second floor has been vacant for more than 20 years. When completed, a total of five residential units will be added to the building, with four units on the second floor and an accessible unit on the first floor at the rear of the commercial space.   

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $445,297, and will transform a vacant, underutilized space into an attractive property and bring needed housing to the heart of downtown Cheboygan.  The city of Cheboygan has approved an Obsolete Property Tax Abatement valued at $85,893 in support of the project. 

"This project is a big win, bringing positive updates to a historic building and much needed housing to our downtown," said Main Street Downtown Development Authority Interim Director Katie Duczkowski. "We are very excited about continued investment in our community."    

Caywood Propane Gas, a family-owned business based in Hudson, Mich., plans to renovate a vacant, three-story building in the historic district of downtown Coldwater into a mixed-use development. When completed, the project will include commercial space and five apartment units. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $804,960 and will create a revitalized space on a key block in Coldwater's historic district, while also bringing critical housing units to downtown. 

The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a $250,000 MCRP performance-based grant in support of the project. The city of Coldwater has approved a $10,000 façade grant in support of the project and has approved a 10-year Commercial Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $111,000. The city of Coldwater is engaged with MEDC's RRC program. 

"We look forward to welcoming Caywood Propane to downtown and are glad that City Council and staff have been pursuing RRC certification," said Coldwater City Manager Keith Baker. "The ability of downtown projects like this one to apply for MCRP and other funding sources is proving to be a key component in developing our historic buildings and adding much-needed housing."  

J&C Development, LLC plans to renovate a historic, vacant building located at 824 Ashmun Street in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. When completed, the mixed-use development project will include three market-rate residential units on the second floor and commercial space on the first floor. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $476,219 and will revitalize a vacant, highly visible property into a vibrant new space, bringing new density and economic activity to a critical business and tourism corridor. 

The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a $194,625 MCRP performance-based grant in support of the project. The city of Sault Ste. Marie is supporting the project with a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $4,584. The city of Sault Ste. Marie is engaged with MEDC's RRC program. 

"We are excited to work with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on this project and for the opportunity to do our part in revitalizing Downtown Sault Ste. Marie," said J & C Development Developer Justin Knepper. "The MEDC has been a terrific partner for Sault Ste. Marie over the years, and we couldn't make this project happen without their support." 

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) 

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state's marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan's economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visitwww.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins atwww.michigan.orgJoin the conversation on:Facebook, Instagram, LinkedInandTwitter. 

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