Friday, July 11, 2003
DesignationNew Downtown Development Program to Plot a Course for the Future
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the city of Mt. Pleasant hosted a celebration today acknowledging Mt. Pleasant as one of the 11 communities chosen to participate in the Blueprints for Michigan’s Downtowns program. The new program makes funding available to communities to develop and launch a downtown economic development action plan to address development challenges and encourage further growth.
“Blueprints offers a great opportunity for up-and-coming communities like Mt. Pleasant,” said Sabrina Keeley, acting CEO of the MEDC. “The city will work directly with a world-class consulting firm to customize a downtown development plan that will set the stage for business growth and job creation in the community for years to come.”
The MEDC received applications from 22 Michigan communities for the Blueprints program. Mt. Pleasant will work with the MEDC and the national downtown consulting firm, , to formulate a downtown economic development action agenda.Developing the agenda will entail conducting a detailed market analysis of Mt. Pleasant’s downtown to determine its long-term economic assets and challenges. The information gathered in the analysis will lead to the creation of a downtown action plan. Mt. Pleasant will continue to gather information for the market study and HyettPalma will make an initial community visit in late September.
The program was developed through a partnership made up of the MEDC, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Michigan Municipal League. The MEDC and the state housing development authority have committed a total of $200,000 to fund the statewide program. Mt. Pleasant will utilize $25,000 of this funding and provide an additional 100 percent match.
“We appreciate the assistance granted through the MEDC, MSHDA and the MML to launch an economic development action plan for the city’s central business district,” said Mt. Pleasant City Manager, Paul Preston. “We are quite proud of the physical improvements we have made in the central business district. This action plan will further guide us in our efforts to make the district even stronger becoming a true business and retail center of our community.”
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.