LANSING, Mich. – For its efforts in establishing a solid foundation to attract private investment and further build on municipality assets, the city of Marquette has been awarded the Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) certification, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced this past Thursday.
MEDC formally recognizes the city of Marquette as a Certified Redevelopment Ready Community in Michigan. Marquette joins an elite group of 59 Michigan communities that have qualified as “thoroughly prepared” when it comes to planning and zoning to remove traditional barriers and promote opportunities for prospective investors. To see the entire list of Redevelopment Ready Communities, visit here.
“Our mission at MEDC is to support Michigan’s strong economic momentum and empower communities to establish a strong planning, zoning, and economic development foundation,” said MEDC Senior Vice President Michele Wildman. “The city of Marquette is well-positioned to continue to implement their vision for the future and further improve the quality of life for its residents. We look forward to building upon our relationship with the city and supporting local economic development efforts.”
As an RRC participant, the city of Marquette received a comprehensive assessment that measured current community and economic development practices compared to RRC best practice standards. The program evaluates and certifies communities that integrate transparency, predictability, and efficiency into economic development practices. Certification status is a compelling indicator that a community has removed development barriers and streamlined processes to be more competitive and attractive to investors.
“I am extremely pleased with this certification as I see it providing validation of efforts not only during the certification process but as a culmination of a great community planning effort over the years,” said Marquette Community Development Director Dennis Stachewicz. “I appreciate the trust given to us by the Marquette City Commission and community, and I see this as a valuable opportunity to reward them all for their faith and let the Midwest know that Marquette is open for business.”
Throughout its efforts to reach certification, the city undertook some major projects including the new Unified Land Development Code, its first-ever adopted economic development strategy, updates to its boards and commissions processes and support, creation of a comprehensive Guide to Development, and more.
“The city of Marquette has been working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to become Redevelopment Ready Certified for some time, and I am grateful and proud to hear that we are now officially RRC-certified. Here in Marquette, we are working on improving and diversifying the tax base, increasing, and diversifying the employment base, supporting local business, and encouraging growth, improving the city’s relationship with the local business community and responsiveness, and improving quality of life for citizens,” said Marquette Mayor Jenna Smith. “This RRC certification will assist the city of Marquette in working towards these important goals. Thank you to our incredible staff at the city of Marquette for your efforts to complete this important milestone.”
As part of the process, RRC partnered with the city and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to fund a major update to its downtown planning efforts, resulting in the 2020 downtown plan.
“Achieving the milestone of RRC certification will help to elevate investment and economic growth in Downtown Marquette through the additional resources made available by this prestigious designation,” said DDA Director Rebecca Finco. “Marquette Downtown Development Authority has traditionally shared a valuable partnership with the city of Marquette and the MEDC, and we look forward to continuing that progress collaboratively through the RRC program.”
As a certified community, Marquette 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 check-ins and updates will help ensure the city continues implementing the best practices over time. Certification is active for five years before needing to be renewed.
Marquette employs a variety of tools and programs to enhance the sense of place in its community and improve the quality of life for its residents and visitors. The Noquemanon Trails Network recently undertook a crowdfunding campaign through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program to build a permanent bridge crossing Carp River for year-round, non-motorized trail use in Marquette. The campaign exceeded its fundraising goal of $30,000, which resulted in a matching $30,000 grant from MEDC. Another crowdfunding campaign for the ‘MÄTI Presents: Mobile Drive-Ins’ is currently underway through August 9.
“Marquette has worked diligently to enhance the sense of place and vibrancy in its downtown, engage residents and businesses, and drive economic growth in the community,” Wildman said. “Working in partnership with communities like Marquette, we can positively transform the downtowns and commercial districts across Michigan to ensure they are places where people want to live, work, visit and play.”
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness, and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org