MUNISING, Mich. (WJMN) – The State Land Bank Authority (SLBA) announced Tuesday that it has approved a $250,000 loan to the Alger County Land Bank (ACLB) toward the development of a mixed-use property development called Munising Marketplace.

Munising Marketplace is an $18 million project planned to center around the construction of a three-story building in Munising. The building will feature 36 mixed-income residential units, as well as a workforce center that the developers say will be designed to foster job creation and placement for local workers and businesses.

“The State Land Bank Authority is committed to working on creative solutions for community and economic development in Michigan,” said Emily Doerr, Executive Director of SLBA. “When approached about this exciting project, we were eager to come up with a way to provide funding for this development that we know will have a transformative impact on the local community and region.”

Construction of the project is being led by Renovare Development. The loan from SLBA will help Renovare to fulfill requirements needed for New Markets Tax Credits, which will be used to help complete construction of the project.

The developers aim to help address housing difficulties in Munising through the construction of residential units. As tourism and hospitality continue to grow in Munising, the area will need to accommodate housing needs for local workers. When constructed, the new development will inlcude 36 studio, one- and two-bedroom units located on the second and third floors. A portion of the units will be set aside for individuals earning less than 80% of Area Median Income.  

“The lack of housing is now affecting the ability of employers to expand because they are unable to find housing for workers. The Alger County Land Bank is proud to partner in the development of Munising Marketplace, as we create a long-lasting asset that will serve many generations to come by providing housing and access to job training to attract and retain talent in the UP,” stated Pam Johnson, Alger County Land Bank Chair. “With the support of the loan through the SLBA, we can springboard the funding needed to close the $18 million dollar project.”

In a release regarding the loan approval, SLBA says the following about the workplace opportunities the Munising Marketplace will provide:

Munising Marketplace will drive a comprehensive workforce development initiative that combines job skills training, housing wrap-around services and direct placement to good-paying jobs with businesses within the development. Master-leased and managed by MichiganWorks!, it will include street-level commercial space and a workforce development center on the first floor with on-site coaching, job placement and employer-driven skills training to facilitate tenant employment. Programs will include local apprenticeships, youth training programs, partnerships with schools and universities and collaborations across industry stakeholders, community-based organizations, educational institutions and businesses. The workforce placement program will encourage retail and restaurant tenants to actively participate in direct placement hiring programs offered through the center.

You can learn more about Renovare Development’s ongoing projects here.