Filer Township DDA Receives Assessment of Market Potential
From Alliance for Economic Success reports:
If you are a retailer looking to set up shop in northwest Michigan, a new study says you ought to take a hard look at Filer Charter Township located in southwest Manistee County along the Manistee County shoreline intersected by US 31. On October 22, 2014, the Township's Downtown Development Authority received the results of a Market Assessment completed by the firm Land USE/USA, LLC that specializes in helping communities pinpoint opportunities for business and job growth.
"The purpose of this study was two-fold," said Laura Horvat, Chair of the Township's DDA. "One was to understand what the potential is along our US 31 corridor for expanding and attracting primarily retail businesses, particularly now that the Meijer Corporation is locating further to the north on US 31. The second was to secure the consultant's opinion about the importance of establishing wastewater treatment capacity along this corridor in view of the corridor's market potential."
The market analysis considered population, population demographics, the type and proximity of retail services in the area, the anticipated demand for various types of retail businesses and similar factors for neighboring counties.
The analysis findings included:
- There is ample market to support the existing K-Mart within Filer Township's cluster of retail businesses.
- The Township has considerable assets that need to be developed and packaged to improve its competitive position. They include improving the aesthetic appeal and access to and from the retail corridor; creating nonmotorized path and trail systems to connect people with retail and recreational destinations; more fully leverage the Township's access to Lake Michigan, Manistee Lake and the Manistee National Forest and others.
- Present the US 31 corridor business development opportunities to specific types of retailers with products that will respond to consumer demand that are not currently available at a level consumers are seeking.
- Leverage the Township's new, cutting-edge wellness center complex by aligning it with other businesses that are focused on wellness and fitness.
The consultant also recommended that the Township and DDA work together to proceed with the wastewater system development so that the Township is "development ready."
"It was very helpful to receive a positive report based on an objective assessment that we can sustain our existing businesses and have opportunities for business and job growth within the DDA area," said Township Supervisor Terry Walker. "We look forward to taking the next steps to complete a realistic physical design for our prime business corridor and proceed down the dual path of improving our infrastructure and doing all that we can to strengthen existing businesses and aggressively support new business activity. This is a tremendous opportunity to develop a unifying strategy for our Township that will benefit all interests and compliment the plans and strategies of our neighbors."
Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission