New investments to boost Escanaba downtown

Big changes are taking place to revitalize downtown Escanaba. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced two big grants for downtown projects there, in partnership with the city and the Downtown Development Authority.

The bigger grant is for $831,000 as a community development block grant, for facade improvements to six downtown buildings. The improvements will include masonry repair, window replacement, storefront reconstruction and new signage. Key to the renovations are restoring the historic features of the Escanaba buildings, and encouraging improvement throughout the downtown area. Additional private investment of $293,000 is expected, and the city will provide $22,000 toward the project.

Second, the city received $487,000 in community development block grant funding to make a new home for the Escanaba Marketplace farmers' market, which currently is in a small, somewhat hidden location downtown. Now, the building of a new marketplace at the former, now-vacant Northern Motors car dealership on Ludington Street will create a gathering place for the farmers' market, offering local, fresh food and an event home for downtown happenings. About $565,000 in private investment is expected to accompany the marketplace, and the city will pitch in another $555,000 in a major investment toward its downtown.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation
 
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