MEDC recognizes Houghton as ‘redevelopment ready’


For its efforts to establish a solid foundation for attracting private investment and further developing the municipality’s assets, the town of Houghton has been awarded the Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) certification, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today.

MEDC officially recognizes the Town of Houghton as a certified redevelopment-ready community in Michigan. Houghton joins an elite group of 58 Michigan communities described as “well prepared” for planning and zoning to remove traditional barriers and promote opportunities for potential investors. To see the full list of communities ready for redevelopment, visit here.

“Our mission at MEDC is to support Michigan’s strong economic momentum and empower communities to establish a solid foundation for planning, zoning and economic development,” said Michele Wildman, senior vice president of MEDC. “The Town of Houghton is well positioned to continue to implement its vision for the future and further improve the quality of life for its residents. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the city and supporting local economic development efforts.

As a participant in RRC, the Town of Houghton received a comprehensive assessment measuring current community and economic development practices against RRC’s best practice standards. The program assesses and certifies communities that integrate transparency, predictability and efficiency into economic development practices. Certification status is a compelling indicator that a community has removed barriers to development and streamlined processes to be more competitive and attractive to investors.

To achieve certification, the city undertook numerous updates including the master plan, zoning code changes, internal process reviews and updates, new council and commission procedures, and increased focus on community marketing. The city has also completely updated its website.

“We are delighted to complete the certification process,” said Mayor Robert Backon. The best practices learned will help us move forward in growth as a community.

As a certified community, Houghton will have access to new tools to implement its community development goals as well as ongoing support and technical assistance from the Redevelopment Ready Communities team. Annual audits and updates will allow the city to continue to implement best practices over time. Certification is valid for five years before it needs to be renewed.

“RRC has been a significant initial investment on the city’s part, but everything we’ve learned along the way will be put to good use and we are better positioned than ever for the kind of smart growth that will continue. the future, ”said city manager Eric Waara.

The city’s certification was awarded the same week that the Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved $ 4 million in community development grants for a visionary redevelopment of a waterfront public recreation area at the center. -City of Houghton. the Pier creation project will offer venue creation equipment, including various landscaping elements, integrated public services for events and future developments. The space will also serve as a venue for a variety of community events, live music and the Farmer’s Market. Additionally, with Houghton’s recent designation as a port of call for the Great Lakes cruise lines, this pier will allow visitors to disembark from the cruise line in the heart of downtown. CDBG funds were mobilized through local funding of over $ 1 million.

The project was a major goal of the city’s master plan and a testament to the city’s ability to turn vision into reality. This is the latest in a series of community economic development success stories in downtown Houghton. For more information on the project, go here. To read MEDC’s announcement on the jetty project, visit here.


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