Michigan Municipal League Review Magazine September/October 2023

501 5th, BEFORE

501 5th, AFTER

209 5th, BEFORE

“We’re starting to turn the corner. We started in 2017 with a small MSHDA grant that helped us stabilize a small historic building. In the last five years, we’ve been able to access Michigan Economic Development Corporation support to renovate four historic building façades, completely rehab four more historic buildings, and secure a State Historic Preservation Office grant to put a roof on another historic building in order to stabilize it for future redevelopment. The support from the Houghton County Land Bank Authority has been pivotal to securing and stabilizing properties for future development,” said Ratcliffe. Another project in the works is to redevelop a one block site where three buildings were destroyed due to a fire. “It’s exciting, but there is still a lot to do. We’ve still got a number of buildings that are vacant and buildings that need to be stabilized. In three to five years, you’re going to really see a big change in Calumet. People are already seeing it now with the rehabilitation projects that have taken place. There certainly is an uptick in retail and commercial activity. If we can get a building rehabilitated and make that retail space viable, there are people who want to open shops there,” Ratcliffe said. Polzien agrees with Ratcliffe and believes that they have the momentum necessary to create long-term change. She also discussed how the work the community is doing will have additional impacts in the future as well. Eventually as buildings get reassessed and sold, it will improve Calumet’s tax revenue. “From a municipal standpoint, I think seeing the buildings start to change and rehab, it is a great thing for us to see as a community,” said Polzien. As both Ratcliffe and Polzien have expressed, Calumet is taking it one building at a time. With the strides they have already made, the Bring Back Calumet project is on its way to completely transforming this community. Morgan Schwanky is a content developer for the League. You may contact her at 734-669-6320 or mschwanky@mml.org.

209 5th, AFTER




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