The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced today that 11 communities across the state have been chosen to participate in the new Blueprints for Michigan’s Downtowns program.The program makes funding available to communities to develop and launch a downtown economic development action plan to address development challenges and encourage further growth.
“Michigan’s downtowns are at the heart of our state’s ongoing economic success,” said Sabrina Keeley, acting CEO of the MEDC.“These blueprints will give these communities another excellent tool to ensure their economic vitality for years to come.”
The MEDC received applications from 22 Michigan communities.The following have been chosen to participate through a competitive process (alphabetical order):Adrian, Battle Creek, Brighton, Buchanan, Cheboygan, Davison, Grand Haven, Jonesville, Middleville, Mt. Pleasant and Norway.
The Blueprint communities will work with the MEDC and the national downtown consulting firm, HyettPalma, to formulate a downtown economic development action agenda.Developing the agenda will entail conducting a detailed market analysis of each of the participating communities, determining their long-term economic assets and challenges and creating an aggressive downtown action plan.
The program was developed through a partnership made up of the MEDC, Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and the Michigan Municipal League (MML).The MEDC and MSHDA have committed a total of $200,000 to fund the project.Participants are required to match the amount of funding that is allocated for their community.
“The first initiative of its kind, this partnership between MEDC, MSHDA, HyettPalma and 11 very enthusiastic communities promises to show results in less than a years time,” said James L. Logue, executive director of MSHDA.“MSHDA is proud to be at the table."
Dan Gilmartin, deputy director of the MML, added, “The communities are excited to be able to utilize this great downtown development tool.I look forward to seeing the positive effects that Blueprints will have on these communities.
“The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.