Port Huron, MI –April 27, 2016 With most attention focused on Detroit and Grand Rapids lately, the eastern shores of Michigan around the greater Port Huron area are quietly seeing the highest level of construction and renovation projects in decades. The region’s economic collaborative, Blue Meets Green, estimates there over $234 million of projects recently completed, underway or planned to begin in and around Port Huron.
“It’s the greatest volume of new investment this region has seen since I’ve been in business,” said Gerry Kramer, who started Kramer Commercial Realty, in 1978. “We’ve quietly been rebounding since the recession, but now developers and investors from western Michigan, California and New York have discovered opportunity here.”
The region’s Blue Meets Green collaborative, which includes regional stakeholders from the business, government, education, economic development and philanthropic sectors, estimates the region’s top 13 projects account for more than $234,000,000 in new investments.
“This is an unprecedented level of investment in this region. Community collaboration and regional marketing efforts have contributed to the tremendous economic growth and investment,” said Dan Casey, president of the Economic Development Alliance for St. Clair County, and member of Blue Meets Green.
The Blue Meets Green estimate doesn’t include the region’s largest current waterfront development project taking place at the site of the former DTE plant along the St. Clair River in Marysville. That 20 acre waterfront site was acquired by Missouri based Commercial Development Company, which is in the final stages of demolition of the old coal fired plant.
McLaren Port Huron Hospital is leading the new construction boom with a $162 million campus expansion that will include a new Karmanos Cancer Institute. The hospital broke ground for that project in early 2015.
Western Michigan entrepreneur and developer Chuck Reid plans to invest more than $20 million in two new projects in the heart of downtown Port Huron. His City Flats Hotels are prominent destinations in Holland and Grand Rapids, and his third Michigan location will sit along the Black River in the old Michigan National Bank building in Port Huron.
Other major projects include the restoration and re-opening of the historic St. Clair Inn by California businessman Jeff Katofsky; expansion of the community college campus at St. Clair County Community College, and a new high-rise condominium development along the St. Clair River by New York developer and home-town son, Allen Stevens.
Randy Maiers is president of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. “We don’t mind being compared to the growth model that Grand Rapids is following,” he said. “A part of our region’s recent surge is due to the diversity of our growth and our mindset of collaboration between all of our sectors, including the philanthropic sector like Grand Rapids has.” The community foundation itself recently invested $1 million in a new downtown office location.
James Freed, City Manager of Port Huron, said, “Collaboration is the key to community growth in Michigan these days. We know we need partners and friends to advance economic growth and we’ve made it easier to do business in Port Huron. Now we’re seeing the resulting investments and growth. “
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James Freed, City of Port Huron: 810-984-9740
Dan Casey, Economic Development Alliance of St Clair County: 810-982-9511
Gerry Kramer, Kramer Commercial Realty: 810-987-4622
Randy Maiers, Community Foundation of St. Clair County: 810-434-1971