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City of Negaunee Facade Improvements Update

Negaunee, MI – City Manager Nate Heffron is pleased to announce that four downtown Negaunee businesses have submitted paperwork to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for consideration to enter Negaunee’s second round of façade improvements.

The City of Negaunee partnered with these four downtown businesses to seek out a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Current estimates place the total project cost nearly $651,000.00. Grants from MEDC can range in support of up to 75% match, with the City contributing administrative costs of the grant, if approved.

This year’s locations include:
323 Iron Street
308 Iron Street
331 Iron Street
334 Iron Street

Recently, Negaunee underwent its first phase of facade improvements with Smarty’s Saloon and Tino’s Pizza, both projects totaled $189,470.00. “The goal of the City is to work with willing business owners and the MEDC to improve the visual appearance of the downtown area by lessening deteriorated or blighted buildings. In my opinion this first round was a success”, City Manager Nate Heffron commented.

In addition, the newly adopted Economic Strategic Plan Moving Forward and 2016 Master Plan, gives direction for the City to continue to seek out downtown businesses and building owners to work with the City and MEDC for reinvestment opportunities.

According to Heffron, the City held several meetings with business and building owners last summer to gauge who may want to engage this next round. “Myself and my staff are taking a hands-on approach in developing strong relationships with the business and building owners in our downtown to navigate this process. I believe that we are turning the corner on economic development in Negaunee by building an atmosphere of trust and understanding with the downtown business and building owners”, Heffron stated.

Both Smarty’s Saloon and Tino’s Pizza have seen an up-tick in business since their façade’s improvements. In addition, Heffron says that these two businesses have inspired other businesses to reinvest in their buildings and that he and City staff have a waiting list for the next round.

This project is in its preliminary stages and is awaiting approval by the MEDC. “I hope that we will be able break ground on this project sometime late this summer”, Heffron said. “The City of Negaunee is very grateful to the MEDC for their investment in our community, we all know that this would have not been possible without their assistance”, Heffron stated.

Questions concerning this release may be directed to the attention of the City Manger, Nate Heffron at (906) 475-7700 ext. 11.

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