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Consultant Chosen for City of Manistee "North Corridor" Initiative

From the Alliance for Economic Success:

Manistee, Michigan - Turning a historic hotel into a dynamic live and work environment for artists. Converting an amphitheater and band shelter into a community hub for outside entertainment, accessible by people of all ages, needs and abilities. Making a Farmers Market all that it can be to connect produce and locally grown and made products with eager buyers from throughout the region.


Those elements and more will be part of a project driven by a Leadership Team of Manistee area interests and the firm Beckett & Raeder that they just selected for a new project, aimed at a positive transformation along the City of Manistee's "north corridor."


Funded under a grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, the goals of the project are to:

  • Assess the feasibility of converting the Washington Street building once known as the Northern Hotel into a hub for artist studios and lofts with other potential amenities including a restaurant and retail shop focused on selling artist productions.
  • Assess the location, design, marketing and overall operations of Manistee's Farmers Market with a goal of making it a regional destination to serve growers, food and other product producers and eager buyers.
  • Design optimal uses and access for the existing amphitheater and band shelter along the north side of the Manistee River channel with one goal being to afford universal accessibility.
  • An overall concept plan for this northern edge of Manistee's downtown district that would knit together a variety of uses and purposes to support the economic well-being and quality of life of the community.


The Leadership Team will receive coordination support from Jami Klomp, Staff Specialist at the Alliance for Economic Success. Leadership Team members include: Travis Alden, Executive Director, Manistee Main Street Program/Downtown Development Authority;  Brandon Seng, Executive Director, Manistee Community Kitchen; Kevin Summers, SEEDS Program Coordinator; Jeanne Butterfield, attorney and artist; and Jeff Reau, private investment.


The Beckett and Raeder team includes: John Iacoangeli, Principal, Beckett & Raeder; Christy Summers, Principal, Beckett & Raeder; Timothy Knutsen, Project Landscape Architect, Beckett & Raeder; Gary Cooper, President and Owner, Cooper Design; Jennifer Goulet, President and CEO, ArtServe Michigan; Cezanne Charles, Director of Creative Industries, ArtServe Michigan; and Dan Carmody, President, Detroit's Eastern Market Corporation.

"This is another great initiative toward building the Manistee community as a place where people will increasingly want to visit, shop, live and work," said Steve Brower, Vice President for Northwestern Bank who supported the funding request to USDA. "This is the kind of work that led us to where we are today in developing restoration funds to reopen the Vogue Theatre. We look forward to the results of this project and hope that people realize that now is the time to invest in moving the City of Manistee forward." 


Brower also serves as chair of the Capital Campaign for restoring the historic Vogue Theatre.


More information about the project, its schedule and opportunities for community involvement will be available soon.



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Alliance for Economic Success   1361 US 31 South   Manistee, MI  49660

(231) 723-4325


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