Houghton sets public hearing for commercial rehab district

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette The Houghton City Council set a public hearing for a commercial rehabilitation district at 190 Shelden Ave., which could potentially lead to tax incentives for redevelopment at the site.

HOUGHTON — The 100 block of Shelden Avenue could have a new look.

The Houghton City Council Wednesday set a public hearing for April 24 on the creation of a commercial rehabilitation district at 109 Shelden Ave.

The owners are looking to do a major rehabilitation of the building, City Manager Eric Waara said. The building has previously been used for Kirkish Furniture and the Backroom bookstore, but has been unused in recent years.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. may also be involved in the project, Waara said.

The districts are used in conjunction with Michigan’s Commercial Rehabilitation Act. Properties within the district can receive tax incentives for up to 10 years to rehabilitate a commercial property so it can be used by a commercial business or multi-family residential facility.

To qualify for the district designation, it must contain a building or group of contiguous buildings of commercial property that are at least 15 years old.

Further improvements could come to the Downtowner Motel property. Waara said MEDC is looking to hire a consultant to create a plan for the city that would look at potential best uses for the property, possibly accompanied by renderings. The building’s owner supports the idea, Waara said.

“That may inform the owner of the building to make an investment, that might inform the owner that maybe they want to find a partner, or maybe they want to sell the building,” he said.

In other action, the council:

• set dates for this year’s spring cleaning. Residents can drop off items on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from April 26 to June 2. Dumpsters are located at the Department of Public Works garage on the corner of Technical Avenue and Gundlach Road. Spring collection dates for seniors and handicapped people are Mondays on May 6, May 20 and June 3. Residents can call the city office at 906- 482-1700 to be added to the list for pickup.

Dumpsters will also be put out for Michigan Technological University students as they move out.

Houghton residents can also drop off yard debris at the garage from April to November on the east side of the salt storage building.

• approved a Portage Lake Water & Sewer Authority agreement with Franklin Township. Upper Peninsula Power Co. plans to relocate its service center to a site on Campus Drive outside the bounds of the PLWSA’s currently defined service area. Bylaws require any PLWSA members to approve agreements with non-member organizations that will increase the amount of wastewater being sent for treatment.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today