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Published in Economic Development
Rowan Park in Muskegon Heights. Rowan Park in Muskegon Heights. MIBIZ FILE PHOTO

Downtown Muskegon Heights redevelopment lands $250K boost from Consumers Energy Foundation

BY Thursday, July 21, 2022 01:33pm

Muskegon Heights’ downtown revitalization plan has received a $250,000 boost from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

One of two Foundation grants announced today for Michigan cities, Muskegon Heights officials will use the funding for improvements at Rowan Park downtown, including installing a splash pad, restrooms and a promenade. 

Rowan Park is a key component of the city’s recently launched downtown revisioning plan under development by city officials and Greater Muskegon Economic Development (GMED), as MiBiz recently reported

“We are excited to partner with the Consumers Energy Foundation and Greater Muskegon Economic development to fund improvements to Rowan Park,” Muskegon Heights Mayor Walter Watt said in a statement. “These improvements will complement the drum major sculpture, ‘Band Together,’ currently being planned for the park.”

The Rowan park improvements are the first step in the city’s recently adopted “Reaching New Heights” vision plan, Watt said. The vision plan also calls for redeveloping the historic Strand Theatre, installing new pavement and streetscaping along Broadway Avenue, and constructing more housing and mixed-use developments downtown.

Officials hope that starting with Rowan Park will spur other funding sources and interest from developers to the city’s downtown.

“These communities are committed to reinventing themselves and have developed plans to grow and prosper. The Consumers Energy Foundation is proud to give them the support they need with these Prosperity Awards,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Jackson-based utility. “These awards are designed to strengthen neighborhoods across the state and highlight our own commitment to Michigan’s businesses and communities.”

Today’s awards are the second of three $500,000 grant allocations this year totaling $1.5 million. The village of Oxford in Oakland County was the other recipient in this round of grant funding. Oxford’s Downtown Development Authority will use the funding for a placemaking project to upgrade exteriors and entrances to more than 100 businesses in the downtown corridor.

Similar funding was awarded last year for downtown revitalization projects in Cadillac and Flint.

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