How Michigan's Redevelopment Ready Communities program spurs development

June 17, 2019

Source: Laura Cassar
Department: Crain's Content Studio

From Allegan to Ferndale, the state's Redevelopment Ready Communities program is helping communities access funding that's key to attracting investors and developers alike.

Since the program launched in 2013, 33 Michigan communities have completed certification for the free program.

Nate Scramlin, redevelopment services manager for the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which oversees the program, detailed the benefits of the certification in a recent webinar sponsored by the MEDC and powered by Crain's Content Studio. The webinar featured panelists Kathleen Duffy, an urban planner for SmithGroup, Jordan Meagher, community development coordinator for the City of Allegan, and Nathan Watson, president of CL Real Estate Development.

Here are five things communities, developers and investors need to know about Michigan RRCs.

1. The certification process takes 12 to 18 months to complete but certification is valid for three years

2. Redevelopment Ready Communities are great opportunities for developers, as they show a city's commitment to growth.

3. The MEDC offers up to $25,000 in services - including site analysis, environmental testing and traffic studies - to RRCs at no charge.

4. The certification program is designed with small towns in mind, as history has been kind to many of the unique, authentic properties small towns offer.

5. Michigan's Redevelopment Services Team provides technical assistance, marketing and promotion, and relationship building between cities and developers.

"What really makes a project transformative in an abstract sense is a project that transforms the way a community thinks about itself. All of a sudden more is possible," said Watson, who shared the benefits for RRCs from a real estate professional perspective.

Several Envirologic team members have attended the Redevelopment Ready Communities "Best Practices" Training Program. Our goal is to be your partner in the process as you develop an Economic Development Strategy and determine which locations should be targeted as Redevelopment Ready Sites.

Watch the full webinar here.

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