New round of proposals for vacant Lake Linden lot

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette A former lumberyard property in Lake Linden is seen after the former building on the site was torn down.

LAKE LINDEN — A formerly blighted property in Lake Linden will go out for another round of requests for proposal for development after none were received earlier this summer.

The Houghton County Land Bank received a $50,000 grant earlier this year to cleanup and demolish the former Lakes Building Supply building on the 1300 block of Front Street.

The old buildings on the site have been torn down. The land bank is working with Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, county Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the village of Lake Linden on the site. The proposal is to build three single-family units on the site.

“The time period when we put it out was right at the beginning of construction season,” KEDA Executive director Jeff Ratcliffe said at Thursday’s Lake Linden Village Council meeting. “We know we have folks that are interested. We’re in the process of reaching back out to find the best time.”

Ratcliffe said they would probably reissue the proposal at the end of the construction season with the goal of starting the project next spring.

Though the plan was for three buildings, developers will have some leeway on proposals, Ratcliffe said.

“Now that it’s gone, people can see the site better, so that’ll help,” Ratcliffe said.

Also Thursday, the Lake linden Council approved a resolution to pursue becoming one of Michigan’s Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC).

The program is the state’s screening mechanism for Community Development block Grant (CDBG) funding, Ratcliffe said. That could help the village with a range of projects, including infrastructure upgrades, facades and upper-floor rehabilitations.

The village would likely be eligible for 90% funding for CDBG projects, Ratcliffe said.

“It’s a way to leverage your scarce tax dollars here to get more done,” he said. “You guys have plans. You guys know what section of water, sewer, storm sewer need to be replaced.”

With the aid of KEDA, the village will go through a checklist to see what procedures it has in place. One or more village repreentatives also have to take an online training course.

“It’s basically saying ‘Here’s a bunch of best practices that we found from around the state, around the nation, that help communities improve their ability to support redevelopment,'” Ratcliffe said.

Houghton, Hancock, Calumet, L’Anse and Baraga have become Redevelopment-Ready Communities, Ratcliffe said.