LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm joined city officials today in Alpena to present a ceremonial check for $1.6 million to the city for a major downtown development project expected to create 163 new jobs and spur $12 million in private investment.The reconstruction project proposed by Alpena Marc, LLC, will consist of a mixed-use development including retail space, hotel/conference center, brewery, pub, residential condominiums, museum, and a marine sanctuary.
“The economic vitality of Michigan’s downtowns is essential to attracting new jobs and new opportunities to our state,” Granholm said.“The Alpena mill project is one of the marquis redevelopments in this state.The city of Alpena should be commended for its diligence in obtaining the funding for this important project that will draw investment and jobs to the downtown area for many years to come.”
The grant will help the city make infrastructure improvements necessary for the renovation of the old Fletcher Paper Mill buildings. The improvements include expansion of existing water and sewer lines as well as streetscaping and road reconstruction along Fletcher Street in Alpena.
The entire project will cover about 29 acres with nearly 3,000 linear feet of riverfront.A 40-foot boardwalk will extend along the Thunder Bay River to Water Tower Park.The older mill buildings will be restored and new construction will mirror the architectural style of the existing buildings to maintain historical continuity.
It is expected that the initial private investment will exceed $12 million over the first five years of the project and reach a total of $40 million at the project’s completion in 2010.The project will create more than 160 new jobs.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation administers the state’s CDBG program with funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.These funds are used to provide grants to eligible counties, cities, villages, and townships – typically those with populations less than 50,000 – for economic development, community development, and housing projects.
Each year, Michigan receives approximately $50 million in federal CDBG funds. There are 1,655 local governments within the state eligible to apply for these funds.
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