East Main redevelopment opens, breathes new life into downtown Milan

It's been a long time coming, but the East Main redevelopment is done. Leases have been signed and people and businesses are moving in to the new crown jewel of downtown Milan.

"I have certainly enjoyed the process," says David Snyder, the developer behind East Main. "I am looking forward to having these pretty, polished buildings for people to use."

The East Main redevelopment project breathed new life into four commercial buildings at the corner of Wabash and Main streets in downtown Milan. The buildings, some of the oldest in the city, were in dire need of restoration after having been built in the mid-to-late 19th Century. Snyder's team gutted the structures to the studs and renovated them to last another century or more.

The whole project encompasses 27,000 square feet between the four adjacent buildings, which are all two or three stories tall. The project includes ground floor retail space and 15 loft apartments above that. The loft apartments will range between 700 square feet to 1,100 square feet and will include high-end finishes.

Some of the units are set aside for affordable housing. The market-rate units range in price between $950 a month for a 1-bedroom and $1,200 for a 2-bedroom. So far 11 of the 15 units have taken applications with more coming in everyday.

"Most of those are approved," Snyder says. "A few are still in the approval process."

The ground floor retail includes space for up to eight storefronts. Some of the spaces can be combined to create larger homes for businesses. Snyder's team has signed one lease for a travel agency specializing in cruises, Charlie's Destinations.

East Main is part of a larger effort to bring more business, residents and vibrancy to downtown Milan. The city's downtown was recently selected to the Michigan Main Street program, a program that will help further develop Milan’s cultural and business climate and economic potential. Milan is also in the process of hiring its first downtown director to help facilitate more redevelopment.

"There are a lot of good things happening here," Snyder says.

Source: David Snyder, developer of East Main
Writer: Jon Zemke

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