Evart Main Street to host property redevelopment meeting

DDA/Main Street work to revitalize downtown

As part of the ongoing efforts to revitalize the Evart downtown area, the Evart DDA/Main Street will host a property redevelopment meeting on April 25.

As part of the ongoing efforts to revitalize the Evart downtown area, the Evart DDA/Main Street will host a property redevelopment meeting on April 25.

Herald Review photos/Cathie Crew

EVART — Evart Main Street will host a property redevelopment meeting at 5:30 p.m. April 25, at the Depot, 200 S. Main St., Evart. The meeting is open to the public.

Evart Main Street and Michigan Main Street have contracted with Bruce Johnston of Revitalize, LLC, to make a presentation on downtown Evart redevelopment potential and funding opportunities for property owners and potential developers, according to information provided by Evart Main Street.

Revitalize, LLC, was formed in 2010 to assist cities throughout Michigan with grant management and historical housing endeavors, according to information provided by the company. They are Michigan Economic Development Corporation certified grant administrators and have experience with historical façade renovation and creating commercial opportunities.

On April 26, Johnston will walk through buildings with property owners and provide insights on the redevelopment potential, estimated costs and funding opportunities for the specific buildings. 

The walkthroughs are at no cost to the owners. Specific times for visits need to be coordinated with Evart Main Street director Todd Bruggema.

In 2021, the Evart DDA/Evart Main Street organization began a series of meetings with the Michigan State University Sustainable Built Environment Initiative to discuss improvements to the downtown area. The initiative centered around creating walkability throughout the downtown area, and connectivity to the fairgrounds, parks and the Muskegon River.

Part of the initiative focused on revitalization of the downtown, including upgrades to building facades and outdoor spaces in the downtown area.

During the series of meetings, the SBEI program representatives gathered information from the public regarding what they would like to see in the downtown area and created design recommendations based on that information.

SBEI program director Wayne Beyea said at the time that the team established five goals for the design recommendations from the information gathered during the initial meeting, which included placemaking, connectivity, streetscapes, sustainability and visual quality.

“Our recommendations have focused on the Main Street area and connectivity with the river and the fairgrounds,” Beyea said. “We focused on street design, pedestrian mobility and connectivity.”

“One thing to remember is that this is a visioning process — that the design recommendations are meant to be visionary — and there are a number of steps that need to take place before you have something you can go out and build. Cost estimates and final designs are things that you will have to move forward with as part of the process,” he said. 

Evart DDA/Main Street continues to focus on improvement and development of the downtown area.

For more information on the upcoming meeting, or to coordinate a property walkthrough, contact Todd Bruggema at 231-734-0185 or email ddadirector@evart.org.