ISHPEMING — The continuing effort to revitalize a U.P. city took the next step in the right direction today.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority presented a check for $566,400 Thursday afternoon to the city of Ishpeming. The money, which came from a Community Development Block Grant, will all go towards the construction of 12 new apartments at the Mather Inn.
Crews have already started renovating the historic building, which was first opened back in 1931.
“We knew how important it was to this community. This building has a tremendous amount of history and we decided that it was something that we needed to get involved in to try not only to preserve, but grow, rebuild, and lead to the re–birth of this community,” said Kevin Elsenheimer, MHSDA Executive Director.
“I’ve been upstairs and seen the second and third floors. Basically it’s a gutted, empty shell. It’s a blank canvas to be written upon,” said Mark Slown, Ishpeming City Manager. “With this funding and the rest of the planning that the Mather Inn is going to conduct to finish the job, it will be a real amazing place to live.”
“I went from seeing this building nearing the end of its heyday and I watched its decline and its closure. Now to see it being brought back to life, it’s pretty special,” said Robbie Powelson, a Representative of Mather Inn Enterprises LLC.
Construction of the twelve new apartments is expected to take a couple of years. The apartments will be constructed on the second and third floors.