boyne-banner1The League and MEDC supported Boyne City in evaluating development opportunities that would fill gaps in their highly successful Main Street district, continuing to grow the appeal of downtown Boyne City to residents and visitors alike. The city has already used this work to support their review and approval of a proposed mixed-use development on North Lake Street that will add to the downtown’s housing stock and walkable streetscape.

Parking strategy

Boyne City asked for support through the Redevelopment Ready Communities program in evaluating their downtown parking system and creating a strategy that would support the growth of their main street area. The League engaged Southfield’s Rich & Associates to evaluate the downtown parking system.

The parking strategy, completed in October 2018, identified ample capacity in the downtown parking system, confirming that new development could be easily accommodated without hindering access to downtown, even if one or more surface lots were repurposed for infill development. Rich & Associates also provided an evaluation of parking system operations, identifying opportunities to improve the convenience of on-street parking spaces, suggesting options for enforcement, and proposing ways to deal with the popularity of summer special events.

At the city’s request, the League additionally engaged Traverse City-based Otwell Mawby, P.C., to perform soil borings on a large public parking lot overlooking the river. City staff had identified this lot as being lightly used, and wanted to evaluate geotechnical conditions as part of their prioritization of future development sites.

Lofts on Lake Street

In May 2019, the city’s Planning Commission approved plans for the “Lofts on Lake Street,” a three-story building at the corner of Lake & State Street proposed to contain first-floor retail space and 41 apartments in the upper stories–a substantial addition to Boyne City’s downtown housing supply. The approval required the planning commission to waive a portion of the housing requirement: the RRC-funded parking strategy was instrumental in informing the decision and allowing the project to move forward. Completion of the project still requires the developer, Michigan Community Capital, to secure financing.

The Lofts on Lake Street will provide a significant expansion of housing in downtown Boyne City.

The Lofts on Lake Street will provide a significant expansion of housing in downtown Boyne City.