Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Downtown Development Plan to Set a Course for the Future
Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) representatives joined Wayland officials today to celebrate the city's designation as one of 11 communities to participate in the 2004 "Blueprint for Michigan's Downtowns" program. The program will help Wayland leaders formulate a comprehensive action plan to address economic development challenges and encourage growth. Wayland will receive $15,000 from the MEDC and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), and provide an additional $15,000 for its local match.
"This is an excellent opportunity for Wayland to get expert development advice at an affordable cost," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "The customized plan will analyze the city's strengths and challenges to help plot a strategic course for the future."
As a Blueprint community, Wayland 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 Wayland next May. Formulating the plan will take approximately five months, with implementation estimated to take five years.
"We are very excited to be able to work with HyettPalma," said Doug Nord, City of Wayland Finance Director. "The Blueprint will provide a road map that the city can use to organize growth and development, identify businesses to fill empty store fronts and put a new energy into the downtown.
The MEDC and MSHDA have committed a total of $200,000 to fund this year's Blueprints program.
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.