EDC busy marketing community
The Frankenmuth Economic Development Committee (EDC) has been very active in marketing the community to business owners and potential new residents.
The City of Frankenmuth is participating in a “housing study” of the Great Lakes Bay Region as part of Governor Snyder’s push for regional planning. The EDC has activated a “housing committee” to look at options to facilitate the development of new housing sites and to retrofit existing housing to align with today’s market needs.
The EDC housing committee is waiting for details and data looking at the local market. They will be looking at who is moving, where they are moving, where is the opportunity and how/should the committee dedicate resources.
“The EDC believes housing is an economic generator by virtue of investment in new and current housing stock, providing options for school-age and younger families and building more ‘rooftops,ing more users to support current and new business investment,” Frankenmuth Downtown Development Authority Director Sheila Stamiris said. Stamiris is the city staff member with the EDC.
Creating interest in the Frankenmuth Business Park is one of the EDC’s top objectives. The business park is located on the east side of M-83, across from Covenant MedExpress. Kremin, Inc. is currently the lone tenant in the park.
Last year, the new City and Township Joint Growth Management Plan was approved, which opened the door to enable a change of zoning for the remaining 10 acres owned by the city in the Business Park.
The township okayed the zoning change request for the 10 acres from Residential to Industrial Special Use PUD (IS PUD) - the same as Kremin, Inc. This zoning allows uses including light industrial, research and sales. Annexation of the property remains a critical step to marketing the site.
The Business Park Committee has initiated discussions on how to manage the next 10 acres at the city-owned property at Keystone Way.
On the south end of the city, with EDC support and endorsement, the city changed the zoning of Heinlein Strasse properties from Commercial Tourist PUD (CT PUD) to IS PUD. The zoning change specifically targets properties behind the Weiss Street frontage, including Sullivan’s Black Forest and apportion of Michigan Brands.
The EDC recommended this change because of the nearly 30-plus years lack of tourism-based development interest in these parcels and the opportunity for other uses based on the recent investment by an agri-business, Michigan Brands.
Nearly 30 years ago, businessmen Ron Heinlein and Art Coleman envisioned an agriculturally-based tourism park. Heinlein built the Frankenmuth Cheese Factory at that time.
On the educational front, the EDC supports the Greater Michigan Construction Academy, a new project of the Frankenmuth School District. This project provides opportunities to high school students to learn commercial trades while providing opportunities for adults to re-tool their skills.
Students who are still in school earn credits towards their journeyman’s card while also receiving their diploma.
The FSD initiated the project, housed in E.F. Rittmueller Middle School for the 2016-17 school year. As the project grows, the district wants to expand into a separate location, accommodating the older students outside of school hours.
The EDC supports this project because of the ongoing and growing need for skilled labor in construction and industry.
In early June, the EDC hosted a Real Estate Familiarization Tour for area real estate professionals. A FAM tour is a useful method in the tourism industry to highlight destinations for potential customers. Applying the same philosophy, the EDC customized the event to real estate professionals with potential interest in available properties and buildings.
The FAM Tour attracted 23 persons, with 13 participating in the city tour. The event was underwritten by Mike Young Buick GMC, Koester Builders, Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance, Frankenmuth Credit Union and the DDA.
Some of the sites highlighted in the FAM tourinclude shovel-ready development land at Covenant Commons (Mixed Use), Heinlein Strasse, office lease space at the Great Lakes Eye building, the former Frankenmuth Insurance Claims Division building (South Main and School streets), and buildable home sites in Kingsbrookor Maple Crest Parkway.
The 2015-16 EDC members include Chairman Chris Rittmueller, Vice-Chairman Jerry Thompson, Secretary Terry Weiss, Frankenmuth Insurance’s John Benson, City Council member Beth Bernthal-Reindel, Star of the West Milling Company’s Mike Fassezke, Chamber of Commerce’s Jamie Furbush, Frankenmuth Township Supervisor Tim Hildner, Abby’s Abby McClellan-Curtis, and resident Tim Dils. Ex-officio members include City Manager Charlie Graham, City Treasurer John Deterding, Saginaw Future’s JoAnn Crary and Stamiris. witter feeds.