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Michigan Municipal League

Press Release


Contact:

Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
mbach@mml.org; www.mml.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 16, 2019

Middleville Aims to Boost Developer Interest in Downtown Site

Technical help from Michigan Municipal League and MEDC's Redevelopment Ready Communities Program Focus Efforts on Village Infill

Ann Arbor, Michigan – A vacant lot surrounded by attractive amenities in downtown Middleville is getting a shot at a new life, thanks to predevelopment assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Redevelopment Ready Communities® (RRC) program and the Michigan Municipal League.

The municipally-owned lot is located near many of Middleville’s attractive features, which make it a good candidate for a building to address the region’s increased housing demands. Nearby is a new riverwalk on the Thornapple River, a canoe livery, and a farmer’s marketplace which doubles as an ice rink in the winter. The site is also close to Village Hall, a popular restaurant, and a mixed-use historic building currently being rehabilitated.

“We have long wanted to find a new use for this former hotel site that would add vitality to our community,” said Duane Weeks, Middleville Village Manager. “With services provided from the MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities Program through the League, we see a new future for this lot that will bring in new residents and benefit the whole downtown area.”

To establish a firm base for developer interest, the League was instrumental in overseeing MEDC funding from the RRC predevelopment assistance program for a market study conducted by LandUse USA to determine the most appropriate type of housing for the site. Armed with that information, a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was created by Seamless Collaborative to solicit developer interest. The RFQ outlines the village’s goals for a two- or three-story building, and includes projected use configurations, estimated construction costs, and developer attraction materials such as schematic drawings created by East Arbor Architecture.

The Middleville project is featured on the League’s Developing Great Places webpage, which showcases several projects designed to help communities attract investment interest in underutilized public properties. The program tackles individual sites, primes them for the spotlight, and connects them to private developers to move the community’s public-sector efforts forward.

In partnership with MEDC, MSHDA, and the MML Foundation, the League has already worked with over a dozen cities on advancing the redevelopment potential of prime sites in their community. Each project is intended to help communities activate some of their underperforming properties and help them clearly communicate their goals and expectations to potential developers. 
“We’re pleased to provide Middleville with some valuable development tools,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League. “These resources will help them attract private investment and bring new life to their downtown.”

To learn more about the Middleville project—as well as projects in communities across the state—visit placemaking.mml.org/great-places.

For additional information, contact the League’s Matt Bach, director of communications, at (810) 874-1073 (cell); (734) 669-6317 (office) and mbach@mml.org.

About the League: Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at mml.org.

 

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