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Two major projects move ahead in Muskegon County thanks to state grant

Froebel School
Froebel School

A pair of big projects in Muskegon County can move forward thanks to partnerships with the Muskegon County Land Bank and a sizeable grant from the state

Just over $1.8 million in grants from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity is giving the green light to two major projects in Muskegon County.

First, the 94-year-old Froebel School on Jackson Avenue in Muskegon, vacant for 20 years and in serious disrepair got $1.4 million. The city wants to renovate it into 46 low-income apartments and approached the Land Bank for help. Tim Burgess is its director.

“They’re going to use our financing to remediate asbestos and do some demolition, and that was kind of the gap in financing in the overall plan they were unable to get passed.”

The project will help meet the lower-income housing needs projected over the next two decades, and Burgess hopes it can also salvage a piece of history.

“It’s a very cool building, on the inside and on the outside. It’s the old Spanish Mission-style of school. It’s got some beautiful tilework on the roof and exterior. The interior has a lot of beautiful wood and masonry.”

The second project is in the city of Roosevelt Park where leaders just transformed the streetscape at Glenside and Sherman Avenues. They’ll use $440,000 to demolish a large vacant warehouse on seven acres nearby and can then use the land for other development.

“It’s probably the biggest eyesore building in that small city so it's going to have a discernable impact right away.”

Earlier rounds of grants are being used to rehabilitate blighted properties across the county, also creating more housing opportunities.

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