Seven buildings in Ishpeming to receive makeovers

ish facadeSome buildings in the City of Ishpeming may be in line for a makeover with the help of a state grant.

City officials and seven downtown building owners have teamed up with the Marquette County Administration to apply for a Community Development Block Grant.

If approved, the grant will provide matching funds to help improve the look of the downtown area.

“The grant that we’re applying for is over a million dollars, and there’s I believe $666,000 of private funding that has to be used to match it, along with $8,400 from the City of Ishpeming,” Marquette County Board of Commissioners Chairman Gerry Corkin said.

“Once the grant is approved formally by the state, we’ll enter into a development agreement with them, and it will be a two year process from beginning to closure,” Marquette County Administrator Scott Erbisch said.

The grant will complement the Downtown Improvement Grant that the city has already received for infrastructure improvements, helping to revitalize the downtown area.

“These kinds of projects are very important, especially with the older downtowns,” Erbisch said.  “They do get slightly deteriorated and blighted, and there’s also a lot of competition from the other areas, say for example a mall, that has drawn some of the attention away from your local downtown.  So these kinds of projects try to bring that resurgence back into that and build the downtown back up to be a thriving area.”

The Mather Inn, the Pioneer Square building, and other historic Main Street and Cleveland Avenue storefronts will benefit from the extra funding.