From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director
Current project is focused on attracting developers to our community
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
Grayling, man do you all love cupcakes! Thank you so much for your incredible support of Melissa’s Sweet-N-Treats as she was slinging cupcakes at Grayling Main Street’s (GMSt) first pop-up event. As you may recall from last week, pop-up events are beneficial to everyone. Small businesses have a lower risk option to garner feedback and collect customer data, property owners get to showcase a vacant and available property, and consumers get to try something new. Everyone wins!
Speaking of winners, GMSt offered visitors to the pop-up a chance to win a great prize, just for eating cupcakes and sharing their experience. The prize included dinner for two at a local restaurant and two movie tickets with popcorn at everyone’s favorite local theater. The winner drawn was Danyelle Arwood.
In other GMSt news, we are excited to be working on a new project with the Project Rising Tide (PRT) steering committee. I feel like it has been a while since I talked about our involvement with PRT. Many of the projects are still active, but are experiencing lulls due to volunteers traveling, the holiday season, waiting for slow government processes, and various other reasons. One project in particular focused on attracting developers to our community, to view available properties, and hear from our committee members, the benefits of developing in Grayling. This project was not so much in a lull, we were just the second phase, and had to wait our turn.
The first part of this project focused on large lots better suited for industrial development, and sub-division style single family homes. That Developer’s Summit was hosted earlier in January and was well received. As a result, several new parties have contact local housing professionals for more information on properties and opportunities.
Furthermore, we are now ready to move onto the next phase, a focus on properties inside the city limits, many within the Downtown Development District and Grayling Main Street boundaries. This, as you might imagine, has GMSt staff and volunteers pumped to show off our vision, the opportunities downtown, and the resources available for downtown developments.
The projected date for Developer’s Summit 2.0, is in May of 2018, and we have a ton of work to do before then. We have partnered with Michigan Main Street to do an analysis of market data. This analysis will help us to target developments that will offer space for businesses our community needs. In addition to that partnership, we are working with other MEDC (Michigan Economic Development Corporation) staff to compile an up-to-date list of grants, tax incentives, and specialty lenders, that can move these projects along faster. Finally, we are collecting data from city, county, and state records to share with developers when they attend our summit.
The goal of this meeting will be to introduce developers, builders, and anyone who will listen, to the opportunities in Grayling. We aim to share information about our schools, housing market, recent economic growth, economic potential, and most importantly the charm of Grayling. By being proactive is sharing our vision, and helping interested parties to see the community through our eyes, we hope to avoid developments that are disruptive to the authenticity of Grayling. Ideally, we will be able to maintain the authentic feel of our small community, but increase the amenities available to our residents, and heighten the appeal of Grayling as a destination to visitors.
Want to know more about GMSt and what is going on in Downtown Grayling? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Program Director’s Desk. You can also check out their website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find them on Facebook, or email questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Program Director for Grayling Main Street. She has been with GMSt since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her hair will be next.