Calumet applies for HGTV ‘Home Town Takeover’


CALUMET, Mich. (WJMN) — Main Street Calumet, a local non-profit that works in economic development for the village and township of Calumet, applied for a great opportunity brought on by HGTV, Home & Garden Television.

Hosts Ben and Erin Napier from the show “Home Town“, renovate classically styled homes and bring them back to their original form. “Home Town Takeover” will take the concept and spread it to an entire town. Calumet is hoping they will be selected.

“Calumet has been a depressed area since the mines left and it’s been many years and many places that have lost an industry of any kind go through the same thing and I think in the past few years we’ve seen some improvement in our community with new interest, new investment. People coming in and buying buildings and wanting to be apart of our community,” said Leah Polzien, Executive Director of Main Street Calumet.

“It was announced that they would do this takeover, I think it was a Sunday, and immediately my phone, Facebook instant messenger, everything started blowing up,” said Polzien. “People telling me ‘we have to do this, we have to be apart of it’.

Leah contacted the downtown development authority and the village council to see how to get funding for the promotional video and even dove into her own pocket.

Main Street Calumet (YouTube)

Towns with a population of 40,000 or less were asked to submit why their town deserved the makeover and Calumet believes they fit their criteria.

“All you have to do is look downtown, take a ride through one of our neighborhoods and you know that this is a historic community,” said Polzien.

“We have great historic architecture and beautiful sandstone buildings and lots of wonderful things that some are in great shape and some that need love, so we’re really a great candidate for the program.”

It is still unclear what exactly Home Town Takeover will do, how much it will cost, how much time will be invested into construction. What is clear is the focus will be on areas like a commercial district building, a residential area, and possibly a green space.

“It’s just exciting to see. Maybe we have a shot,” said Polzien.

“We know the competition is stiff. There are over 1600 communities that have applied for this, but we have as good as of a shot as anybody else and we certainly, I think, are disserving and it would be fantastic to have that little boost for a turn around to help us turn things around a little bit.”

Leah believes the community of Calumet will get behind this just like they did for Kraft Hockeyville.

“I think our community really knows how to welcome people into town. I think they’d be very excited and honored to have that national attention brought to our little piece of the world,” said Polzien.

The application has been submitted and there is no telling when “Home Town Takeover” will pick the communities, so Leah and Calumet will be waiting patiently for the results.

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