City leaders targeting state money for development

The plan would add taxable value to the city by targeting vacant and underdeveloped sites and improving connectivity to the downtown area.

Financial help is available from the state for five Targeted Redevelopment Areas each year through the Michigan Brownfield Redevelopment Financing Act (PA 381).

Traverse City commissioners plan to apply for the funding.

The Grand Traverse County Planning and Development Board laid out two recommendations at a study session Monday night.

One plan encompasses 119 parcels along Boardman Lake and River down Eighth Street to Woodmere Avenue.

The other plan highlights the intersection of Eighth Street and Garfield.

Store owner Sharon Carmean told commissioners businesses on Garfield could really use the help.

â??As soon as you pull up into our corner area, signs are pointing you to go downtown instead. Thatâ??s a little frustrating,â?? said Carmean, owner of Top Drawer Consignment Furniture and Top Drawer Resale Clothing.

Commissioners agreed, but say the Boardman community stands a better chance of being selected by the state due to its proximity to downtown.

â??Weâ??re looking forward to any improvements, weâ??re grateful for them. At the same time, we have some needs as well,â?? said Carmean.

Commissioners asked County Planning and Development to draw up a specific resolution for the commission to vote on.

The plan would add taxable value to the city by targeting vacant and underdeveloped sites and improving connectivity to the downtown area.

Commissioners say the state recognizes the vitality of Traverse City, and hopefully will agree with the plans for more improvement.

â??We still have some areas outside of our downtown two block Front Street that could really use some outside sources to get a little boost in terms of economic investment,â?? said Commissioner Gary Howe. â??I remember Eighth Street when I was a kid, 25 years ago. It looked exactly the same as it looks now. Thereâ??s a reason for that. Itâ??s underperforming.â??

Commissioners also decided to move forward with establishing a joint housing taskforce with the Grand Traverse County Commission.

They say the need for more affordable housing within the city should be the focus of a regional effort.

They hope this taskforce will be able to implement a solution, and not just continue studies that have been going on for years.

City staff will draw up a proposal for the joint taskforce for commissioners to vote on at a future meeting.

At that time, they will appoint two commissioners for the team.

They would be joined by two members of the county commission as well as representatives from the Housing Commission, Garfield Township, and East Bay Township.