(AP) - Eight Michigan cities have been selected to receive technical assistance with key economic development projects, including efforts to revitalize a historic block in downtown Cadillac and redevelop a commercial district in southwest Detroit.
The Michigan Municipal League this week announced that Cadillac, Detroit, Flint, Kalamazoo, Holland, Jackson, Marquette and Midland will participate in PlacePlans. The cities are the second group selected and were picked as part of a statewide application process.
"The League has long supported the concept of placemaking, which is creating communities where people want to live, work and enjoy," Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League, said in a statement. "The PlacePlans actually create realistic, tangible designs to make placemaking possible."
PlacePlans is a joint effort between the League and Michigan State University to help communities design and plan for major projects. The PlacePlans are done with support from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the state's MIplace partnership.
In Cadillac, a block along Lake Cadillac is getting new residential space, a brewpub, a regional trailhead and an upgraded arts pavilion. In Detroit, the Southwest Detroit Business Association's plan for the Vernor Livernois Project will support area redevelopment.
"What I like best about these projects is that the passion and dedication already exists in these communities," said Gary Heidel, chief placemaking officer for MSHDA. "What's missing is a little bit of a kick-start to turn that potential into reality or to take work that is already underway to the next level.
"The design and technical assistance being provided through PlacePlans will give them that extra incentive and direction they need."
Other projects include the Grand Traverse Greenway Plan in Flint, the Western Gateway project in Holland, the redesign of a municipal alley in Jackson, the Healthy Living Corridor Plan in Kalamazoo, the Baraga Avenue Enhancement Project in Marquette and redevelopment in downtown Midland.
The first round of PlacePlans work concluded earlier this year and involved projects in Allegan, Alpena, Dearborn and Sault Ste. Marie.