Allegan and Cadillac were among the five cities that recently received Core Communities grants for public infrastructure and site improvements from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The Core Communities fund is designed to spur private development in urban communities and traditional centers of commerce. Funds can be used for such things as land and property acquisition, site development, and infrastructure improvements.
Both cities will use the funds to implement some of the projects proposed in their PlacePlans. Allegan’s Downtown Riverfront Development plan called for redeveloping the Kalamazoo riverfront that borders downtown into an inviting space for festivals, events, and recreation that would also jumpstart economic development. The city plans to use its $250,000 Core Communities grant to redevelop an underutilized parking area into an 11,600 square foot events plaza connecting the community’s central business district with the Kalamazoo River. The space will include an elevated stage for musical performances, shows and outdoor movies, and a multi-use space for events and festivals.
In Cadillac, the Heritage Plaza PlacePlan presented a redesign of a lakeside block in the downtown area., which is currently a parking lot and City Park. The plan envisions the site as a year-round destination and hub of downtown, hosting seasonal events and providing an attractive connection between the Mitchell Street businesses and Lake Cadillac. The city plans to use its $200,000 Core Communities grant to redevelop the two acre downtown parking facility into an inviting space for community festivals and events. The site will also make it easy for residents and visitors enjoying the lake to frequent downtown businesses.