Muskegon Heights reimagines downtown with new Strand Theater, upgraded park, retail and housing
MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MI – A substantial subdivision, reside-perform flats in the coronary heart of downtown, a larger a lot more vibrant Rowan Park and a new Strand Theater are among the the options Muskegon Heights residents have imagined for their organization district.
Those visions gathered all through community enter classes were being used to establish a “Reaching New Muskegon Heights” approach that will immediate long run investments. It is a approach required to make Muskegon Heights a “redevelopment ready” local community in the eyes of the condition, opening up accessibility to community and personal funding.
At the very least Muskegon Heights has a downtown district, even though it’s plagued with empty storefronts. In comparison, the metropolis of Muskegon has experienced to do a ton of new building to fill in significantly of its downtown that was torn down in the early 2000s.
However, Muskegon’s downtown visioning, related to Muskegon Heights’ the latest initiatives, resulted in an “Imagine Muskegon” strategy that isn’t significantly off from what is building there.
“The 1st stage is the eyesight,” Muskegon Heights Metropolis Manager Troy Bell advised MLive. “I’ve observed it take place in my job over and about all over again. Men and women say, ‘It’s not probable,’ or feel it’ s as well much to desire for. But with each bushy audacious intention, you produce an chance for people today who if not did not consider it was achievable to make it doable.”
It also allows developers to have a vision of what they are investments could carry, Bell explained.
“There’s so substantially chance, it can be frustrating to choose the place to commence,” he reported.
The 18-thirty day period visioning procedure provided concentrate teams – some of them distant because of to challenges with COVID – and community surveys as effectively as on-website excursions with important gamers.
Funding was presented by the Michigan Financial Enhancement Company and the Group Foundation for Muskegon County and the venture, led by the metropolis of Muskegon Heights and its downtown enhancement authority, was managed by the Bigger Muskegon Economic Development Corporation.
The final result was a unified plan with reinvestment priorities and ideas to share with potential funders and investors.
The city’s two key priorities are growth of new housing and redevelopment of the downtown core.
Among the plan’s vital concepts:
- Reconstruction of the Strand Theater on Broadway Avenue in the heart of downtown. The theater’s façade is collapsing, with fencing erected to guard passers-by. The program suggests possibly constructing a new theater or rehabbing the current structure, which would be more high priced but would squander fewer means. The idea is to build initial-flooring retail, restaurant and theater house and upper-degree housing.
- Reconfiguring Rowan Park and the parking lot between it and the Strand into an amusement hub. The farmers market place would be moved to Rowan Park, which also would be the internet site of a new marching band sculpture highlighting the legacy of Muskegon Heights High College drum majors. A children’s splash pad is a different feasible function of Rowan Park.
- Development of 35 new homes, either attached or detached, on a large distribute of home between Broadway Avenue and the MATS bus station off of Sixth Road. Fronting Broadway amongst Sixth and Jefferson streets, would be another 12 dwell-do the job dwelling units. The residence is owned by the Muskegon Heights DDA. Other empty a lot in the vicinity could be employed for new infill housing. Bell explained to MLive American Rescue System Act funding could be tapped to support create housing.
- Enhanced streetscapes, together with new lights, and storefronts along Broadway, Peck and Baker Streets. An $8 million allocation presently in the state Legislature would pay for repaving and advancements to Broadway, Bell mentioned.
- Focus on upgrading retail facades and helping tiny businesses to identify in the central main of Broadway and Peck. In the shorter-phrase, two storefronts would be determined to host pop-up packages and artwork programming.
- Create a more usable civic environmentally friendly space about city corridor and the police and fireplace departments, such as narrowing and making Center Street additional pedestrian friendly.
- Setting up a multi-stage parking construction at the rear of the Strand near Peck Street and Airline Freeway. The framework could include things like retail on the initial ground and would be needed for long run professional expansion downtown as perfectly as for new downtown inhabitants.
The survey of town citizens identified that most – 69% — were dissatisfied with the quality of lifestyle in Muskegon Heights, which include 42% who ended up “very dissatisfied.”
The survey also identified that 73% of the respondents had lived in Muskegon Heights for extra than 10 many years.
To browse much more about the Reaching New Muskegon Heights system, click on in this article.
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