City of Whitehall achieves MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities “Essentials” status

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Designation signals communities have identified redevelopment goals, created a master plan for the future

LANSING, Mich. – For its efforts in establishing a more streamlined development process and overall community development vision, the city of Whitehall achieved the Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) Essentials designation under the new RRC 2.0 framework, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today.

Redevelopment Ready Communities is a voluntary initiative that empowers communities to shape their future as they strive to become RRC Certified by building a foundation of planning, zoning, and economic development best practices and integrating them into their everyday functions and was launched statewide in 2013. RRC promotes communities to be development ready and competitive in today’s economy by actively engaging stakeholders and proactively planning, making them more attractive for projects that create places where people want to live, work, and invest.

Based on feedback from communities and other stakeholders, MEDC evolved the RRC toolkit in February 2021 to include two different designations: “Essentials” and “Certified.” Communities can now determine which path is most appropriate for their needs based on capacity, community goals, and other local factors. Reaching the RRC Essentials designation is a formal recognition that a community has a vision for the future and the fundamental practices in place to get there.

“We applaud the City of Whitehall for achieving Essentials status,” said MEDC Executive Vice President of Economic Development Incentives Michele Wildman. “Whitehall has identified its desired direction for the future and has a plan to achieve its goals for the community. We look forward to building upon our relationship with the city and supporting its continued economic development efforts.”

To achieve the Essentials designation, Whitehall worked to incorporate all the key documents and practices to provide a predictable development experience and meet local planning and zoning responsibilities under Michigan law. This includes creating a robust public participation plan, an easy-to-navigate process for getting involved with local boards and commissions, and streamlined development information available on the city website. The city's efforts have produced high-quality documents and processes that will continue to generate value.

“The Redevelopment Ready Community Essentials designation will be a good thing for the continued growth of Whitehall,” said Mayor Steven Salter. “I am glad that we now have the designation after a very long and thorough process. I want to thank the staff of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for their guidance and patience and a special thanks to City Clerk Brenda Bourdon for her leadership in obtaining the designation.”

“The RRC designation is an essential component to the city’s continued growth and vitality,” said City Manager Scott Huebler. “The designation process went hand in hand with the complete revision of our zoning ordinances which are now much more user-friendly.”

To date, the MEDC has formally recognized 66 Michigan communities in all corners of the state at the Certified level and 15 at the Essentials level. These communities have qualified as “thoroughly prepared” when it comes to planning and zoning, to remove traditional barriers and promote opportunities for prospective investors. To see the entire list of Redevelopment Ready Communities, visit here.

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 For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.