Upper floors of historic Schuler’s restaurant to be reactivated into affordable rental housing, bringing new vibrancy to the downtown
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) today to announce a revitalization project that will bring new housing and vitality to downtown Marshall with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund.
“The restoration of the Schuler’s restaurant building will revitalize a beloved historic fixture while building on the vibrancy and attractive amenities that already exist in downtown Marshall,” Gov. Whitmer said. “This project is a great example of how we continue to focus on supporting community efforts that fill housing needs for our residents and build a foundation for long-term economic opportunity in Michigan.”
The Schuler’s Inc. Rental Rehabilitation Project will renovate the second and third floors of the historic Schuler’s restaurant in the city of Marshall. When completed, the project will include seven new, mixed-income apartments to the second and third floors, activating long-vacant, unutilized space in a highly visible building in the heart of downtown Marshall.
The project is being supported by $725,450 in Community Development Block Grant funds awarded to the city of Marshall from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The grant will be used for construction activities and expenses including lead and asbestos testing, and also includes $25,450 for administration expenses. Schuler’s Inc. is expected to contribute private investment of $1.7 million to the project, and the city of Marshall has approved a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $561,600. The city of Marshall is certified with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.
“Schuler’s has been known for its hospitality since we first opened in 1909 and we are thrilled at the transformation that is taking place inside our historic building as we create much needed housing in our community,” said Schuler’s President and CEO Sue Damron. “These former hotel rooms, which once welcomed travelers, had become nothing more than storage for us over the past fifty years. Now, we are creating spaces for people and families to call home. The seven apartments are being designed to reflect Schuler’s brand by mixing historic and traditional elements with an updated look and feel, right in the heart of downtown Marshall.”
In addition to bringing much-needed housing, including four units that will be affordable to low- to moderate-income residents, to the area, the project will transform unused space into a development that will drive economic activity and contribute to the vitality and density of downtown Marshall.
“The city of Marshall is excited to help support the Schuler’s Rental Rehabilitation project. We appreciate the commitment that Sue and Shannon Damron have made to Marshall by continuing to invest in our downtown and bringing much needed housing to the community,” said Marshall Mayor Pro Tem Ryan Traver. ”Schuler’s has been a major part of our downtown for over 100 years and this project will help ensure that it will be here for the next 100.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is committed to supporting long-term economic development opportunities both within Marshall and throughout the Southwest Michigan region. Since 2019, 40 projects across Calhoun County have received more than $35 million in public support through placemaking grants, access to capital, business development investments and export support. In late 2020, MEDC awarded a $50,000 matching grant to support a successful crowdfunding campaign for the restoration of the well-known Wagner Ballroom, a landmark in downtown Marshall. Another local Marshall business, the Plaid Herb, was awarded a $4,000 MI Local Biz crowdfunding program grant from MEDC in 2020 as part of the state’s COVID-19 small business relief efforts. This builds on additional placemaking investments in the region including Milton Tower in Battle Creek and the Peabody Building and Brick Street Lofts in downtown Albion, all of which contribute to the region being an attractive place for both businesses and talent to grow and thrive.
“Vibrant, attractive downtowns in our iconic communities like Marshall are vital to Michigan’s economic success and the well-being of our friends and neighbors,” said Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the MEDC and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund. “By focusing on traditional downtowns and increasing much-needed housing options, we establish unique places that residents and visitors will enjoy. We’re pleased to work with our local partners in supporting this project that helps Marshall become an even better place for Michiganders to live, work, visit, play and create futures.”
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, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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