Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Downtown Development Plan to Set a Course for the Future
Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) representatives joined Saline officials to celebrate the city's designation as one of 11 communities to participate in "Blueprint for Michigan's Downtowns" in 2004. Now in its second year, the program is designed to assist downtown leaders with formulating a comprehensive action plan to address economic development challenges and encourage growth. The MEDC and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) have committed a total of $200,000 to fund the project this year. Saline will receive $20,000 of this funding and provide an additional $20,000 for its local match.
"The Blueprints program offers Saline an excellent opportunity to utilize top-notch downtown development consultants affordably," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "Progressive downtown development planning is essential to tap the economic potential locked within Michigan's unique communities."
As a Blueprint community, Saline will work with the MEDC and the national downtown consulting firm of HyettPalma to develop an action plan. The process includes defining a long term economic development vision, conducting a market analysis to determine the potential of the downtown area, formulating a definitive course of action and encouraging the formation of a public/private management team to implement the plan. HyettPalma will make its initial visit to Saline next May. Formulating the plan will take approximately five months, with implementation estimated to take five years.
"The City Council of Saline and the Business Development Association view this as an opportunity to work with our downtown businesses to help them remain economically viable in an increasingly competitive regional market," said Saline City Manager Larry Stoever. "The Council and BDA also want to ensure through this program that downtown Saline remains a place that people want to come to for shopping, business and leisure activities."
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.