Bad Axe downtown development expected to boost local business in the area

Bad Axe downtown development
Bad Axe downtown development(WJRT)
Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 9:30 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - New life for an old corner in the downtown area of the Thumb’s biggest city.

One of the thumb’s busiest intersections is in downtown Bad Axe, according to MDOT.

Despite a lot of traffic - the corner has been under-utilized for years..

I talked to Huron County Community Foundation executive director Mackenzie Price Sundblad on the transformation about to take place.

“It’s going to be really great for the community. Not only is it going to open things up, provide additional foot traffic. It’s going to put two buildings that have been pretty well off the market and not contributing to the local economy for the last, almost a decade, back in use.”

The northwest corner of West Huron and North Van Dyke used to be a gas station that closed in the 1970s.

But soon it will be the new home of the Huron County Community Foundation.

“Part of our vision for this corner was being able to do more than just create an office for the Community Foundation. We wanted to be able to provide community resources and really do some revitalization for our downtown,” added Price Sundblad.

Six hundred thousand dollars of the nearly two million dollar project is coming from the state.

Money that will be used to remove chemical contamination on the property and demolition of the existing structure.

“It gets a contaminated piece of property back into active use,” commented Carl Osentoski, the executive director of Huron County Economic Development.

Having the corner revitalized has an extra bonus - and is welcome news to local businesses like Emma’s Coffee House.

“It’s going to be almost like a small municipal lot where we can all - everyone can benefit a little about downtown businesses that need a little extra help,” said Brad Severance, the owner of Emma’s Coffee House.

Demolition of the abandoned buildings begins this fall - with completion of the project slated for early 2023.

The state has also recently announced millions of dollars in grants for projects in Detroit, Grand Rapids and the Muskegon areas...all to redevelop previously contaminated sites.

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