The redesign process for Baraga Avenue in Marquette is in its beginning stages, and Thursday night business owners, city officials, and the public gathered to discuss what they wanted to see done to the street.

The Marquette Downtown Development Authority received a MI Place Plan initiative grant to redesign a two-block section of Baraga Avenue from Lakeshore Boulevard to Third Street.

The grant is aimed to improve an area’s overall space, including business opportunities and creating a livable, workable area.

“(We’re here) to help Marquette create a physical design plan in order to improve walkability and to eliminate some of the barriers to pedestrian activity on Baraga,” MSU Extension educator Brad Neumann said.  “It’s a relatively wide street and there some features that kind of disconnect it from downtown and the lakeshore.”

“What we’re here tonight (Thursday) to do is to get some ideas from the public on ways to improve Baraga Avenue from a pedestrian standpoint and a business development standpoint, so ways that entrepreneurs and investors might want to reinvest in Baraga Avenue.”

Neumann also said giving Baraga Avenue a sense of place will lead to more economic development in the area.

The public wanted to see the street continue to keep it’s connection to the view of the lakeshore and keep its colorful building fronts that make it different from Washington Street.

Comments from the public will be put into a design concept and presented to the community in April.

The project will most likely start in 2015 or 2016 due to lack of funding.