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Development Group News

PRESS RELEASE
DATE SUBMITTED: July 25, 2005
CONTACT: Kathie Grinzinger, Assistant City Manager
Telephone: (989) 779-5311

SUBJECT: West Broadway Revitalization Project (Mt.Pleasant, MI)
TO BE RELEASED: Immediately

On July 25, 2005 the City Commission of Mt.Pleasant, MI voted 6-0 to support a resolution in the proposed West Broadway Revitalization Project that will complete renovation of a historic industrial site called the Borden Building in downtown Mt.Pleasant.

The West Broadway Revitalization Project will rehabilitate the environmentally contaminated, long vacant, and blighted Borden/Bader Building on the downtown's west end and lead to further successful development in the downtown's western edge. Such renovation would spur the economic development of downtown Mt.Pleasant with a multi-story, mixed use commercial building.

Completion of renovation work on the Borden/Bader Building, assures the long-term practical utilization of the city's oldest surviving industrial site as well as indefinitely preserves a treasured historic landmark building.

In addition to the renovation to the Borden/Bader Building is the development of an adjacent property which will contain a privately owned, multi-story, mixed use, development designed around a high-profile commercial anchor.

The project as proposed have received preliminary and enthusiastic support from several State of Michigan agencies (MEDC, SHPO, and MSHDA). Private development of the adjacent property will also generate new state matching funds, as MSHDA has committed financing to compile a housing needs and inventory study for the entire community.

Incumbent on moving the proposal forward would be the city's agreement to relocate its offices, purchasing 28,000+ square feet (roughly 75% of the building) at a cost of approx. $3.5million. At the end of a 5-year statutory lease period held by the project Developer, the City of Mt. Pleasant would be gifted title to the entire building (approx. 39,000 sq. ft.), all of its improvements, and the real property, by the Developer.

Thumbs up for Borden - Morning Sun
Downtown development project passes by nearly 2-1 margin

By STEVE COON Sun Managing Editor

Nearly a century after it first appeared in the Mt. Pleasant skyline, the Borden Building will live again, as City Hall. By a nearly 2-1 margin, city voters approved the sale of City Hall with the intent of moving city offices to a renovated Borden Building. That gives a green light to the entire West Broadway Revitalization Project, which pairs a redevelopment of the Borden Building with a new retail and condo development on an adjacent lot.

"I'm ecstatic," Mt. Pleasant Mayor Adam Miller said. "This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the city to save a national historic landmark and create a true economic infusement for our economy." "I'm thrilled to see this community had the vision to go through the incredible amount of information associated with this project and made this decision," said Greg Saxton, project manager for the site's developer, J.E. Johnson Group of Midland. Voters approved the project by a 65-35 percent margin (1,746-930). In the seven city precincts, 24 percent of registered voters turned out. Only one precinct" Ganiard " checked in with a vote of less than 60 percent in favor of the project. That precinct favored it by a 53-47 percent margin (217-192.) Five other precincts favored it by the 2-1 margin or better. The most support came from the City Hall precinct, which was 75-25 (334-112) in favor. "I'm incredibly pleased (by the turnout)," Miller said. "I recognize that a large number of voters of city voters are excited about the project and came out to make their voices heard." "I was very pleased in the decision of the public for the Borden Building," City Commissioner Keith Spycher said. "I was overwhelmed at the number of people who voted." Total projected costs for both the renovation of the Borden Building and the new development next door is about $14 million. Of that total, the City Hall portion of the Borden Building is $6 million. Saxton said now that the vote has passed, a 60-day negotiating period kicks in for Johnson and the city to iron out final details on a contract. He said residents can expect work on the renovation to begin in mid-January. The Johnson Group agreed to an option to buy the Borden Building and the adjoining property in the fall of 2003. After failing to attract private development, Johnson approached the city in January about moving City Hall there. City commissioners in July agreed to move City Hall to the Borden Building, pending voter approval of the sale of the current City Hall.