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27 Marshall Street, LLC, which is owned by Southern Michigan Bank & Trust (SMBT), plans to rehabilitate a vacant, historic, and functionally obsolete building into seven new apartment units in downtown Coldwater. Originally constructed as a purpose-built funeral home in 1920, the building proposed for redevelopment was designed by Robert C. Spencer, Jr., a colleague of Frank Lloyd Wright and a prominent figure in the Prairie School design movement. The structure is believed to be one of only two remaining buildings in Michigan designed by Spence. In addition to rehabilitating the building to provide new housing units, the project will also improve the surrounding property by providing parking and enhanced outdoor space for tenants and anticipates a total capital investment of over $1.8M.
The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a $750,000 Michigan Community Revitalization Program (MCRP) performance-based grant in support of the project. In addition, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has approved a $10,000 façade grant and a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax abatement with an estimated value of $149,195.
“We are pleased to partner with the MEDC, the City of Coldwater and the DDA to make this project a reality” said John H. Castle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SMBT. “Southern has proudly supported downtown Coldwater since our inception 150 years ago, and we are eager to continue this tradition as we rehabilitate the Gillespie building into much needed affordable housing.”
"Renovating the Gillespie building will be another catalyst to our community’s downtown revitalization efforts. Eligibility for this funding source is based on the City’s participation in the RRC Program, which has involved the support of staff, City Council members, and our boards and commissions. This is an exciting project that we are eager to see come to fruition.” - Keith Baker, City Manager
“Southern’s project is an extraordinary example of commitment to community. Our staff have all worked closely with the SMBT team, the MEDC, and local boards and commissions to move this project forward through many hurdles. Preserving the Gillespie building and providing housing to the community will have a tremendous positive impact on the downtown.” - Audrey Tappenden, Economic Development Coordinator/Main Street Director. Questions? Contact Audrey Tappenden at firstname.lastname@example.org.