Outlook mixed on Michigan’s effort to ‘fix the damn roads’

ROADS: The governor is again pushing the Legislature for more generous funding of infrastructure projects, although her pleas have fallen on death Republican ears in the past. Advocates of more money to fix deteriorating roads, bridges and sewer lines say they hope the new Biden administration will be more generous than the Trump administration in supporting state and local projects. We hear from the Michigan Municipal League, road officials in Chippewa, Wayne and Montmorency counties and the Michigan Association of Counties. By Shel Krause. FOR MONTMORENCY, SAULT STE. MARIE, DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.

Northern Michigan real estate booms as builders struggle to meet demand

REALESTATEBOOM: Michigan builders are responding to a demand for expensive homes, a market driven in part by people investing in homes rather than travel during the pandemic. At the same time, the state lacks housing for moderate-income buyers, such as the workers who build the high-end homes, experts say. It is especially true in northern Michigan resort areas. Home prices statewide are up about 10% over last year. But last August the average selling price for homes in Northwest Michigan’s Emmet County was $428,581, up from $344,120 reported for the same month the previous year. FOR BUSINESS AND NEWS PAGES IN TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, CHEBOYGAN, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! AND ALL POINTS

Study suggests rural strategies help economies of shrinking cities

RURAL CITIES: You won’t find barns and silos in Detroit. Or herds of cattle. Or fields of soybeans, sugar beets or wheat. Even so, much of the city is now “ruralized,” a new MSU study says, a phenomenon also visible in Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw. Study says Detroit isn’t actually rural but recommends that economic development approaches used in rural areas be used there rather than traditional urban top-down strategies like tax breaks and focus on large employers. For news and business sections. The authors explain. Includes references to Ionia and Clinton counties. By Eric Freedman. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP!, IONIA, GREENVILLE, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

Michigan State loses an iconic voice… a crosswalk speaker

In 2015, Michigan State students made a dubstep remix of the distinctive Farm Lane crosswalk speaker voice. Farm Lane and Auditorium Road being one of the busiest intersections on campus, the remix spread, and nearly every Michigan State student and alumni understood the joke. But now, the joke is a memory; the voice that tells students when to walk changed. The MSU Facilities Twitter account announced the change, causing a slight uproar by students both current and past. “It’s just sad just to lose that little thing that just everyone remembers,” said MSU student Mark Bruey.

Rob Blackshaw, director of operations for the Michigan State Capitol Commission, walks through the Capitol’s former basement boiler room, which now contains equipment for the building’s new geothermal heating and cooling system.

Cutting-edge heating and cooling technology, 21st century style, returns to state Capitol

An obscure door tucked beneath one of the massive stone staircases outside of Michigan’s state capitol reveals yet another steep stairwell leading to a coal-fired boiler room. It was once the center of one of the most sophisticated heating and cooling system of the 19th century. Today, the same room is poised to gather heat from 272 wells sunk 500 feet below the Capitol grounds as part of a complex multi-million dollar utility upgrade. By David Poulson. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS

Disappearing history: Michigan sites dropped from National Register of Historic Places

The once-honored Beechwood Store in Iron River Township, the Flint Brewing Co., the shipwrecked schooner Alvin Clark in Menominee, the Fenton Seminary and the majestic Grand Riviera Theater in Detroit have all disappeared from the prestigious National Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service recently removed their recognition because they’ve been demolished, no longer retain their historic integrity and cannot convey their historic significance, the State Historic Preservation Office says. By Eric Freedman. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, SAULT ST. MARIE, LANSING CITY PULSE, ST. IGNACE AND ALL POINTS.

Community-wide fundraising for Lapeer’s dog park

Friends of Lapeer Dog ParkA map that shows the layout of the Lapeer dog park that will be in Rotary Park. Funding has been doing on for two years for a new dog park which will be located at Rotary Park in Lapeer. The dogs will have it made with a fenced in three acres to roam off their leash, a shade company to cool down under and even their own doggy dish water fountain system. 

Rodney Church, the director of the Lapeer Parks and Recreations, said six years ago the Lapeer City Commissioners decided that Lapeer needed a dog park. The city of Lapeer agreed to donate a section of Rotary Park in Lapeer for the dog park, the only problem was Lapeer did not have available funds for the project, so it has become a community-wide fundraiser for the past three years. 

“We came up with a design, how much it was going to cost, and then we formed a subcommittee to help fundraise to raise money to build the park,” said Church. “It’s an official 501(c)(3), or a nonprofit organization, known as the Friends of Lapeer Dog Park that I oversee.”

The president of the Friends of Lapeer Dog Park, Troy Bostick-Tullius, said that the group meets the third Tuesday of every month to talk about ways in which they are going to be getting funding.

Will historic East Lansing landmark get needed updates?

For the first time since March 12, the Historic District Commission met July 9 and was filled with many public hearings. One in particular, however, may seem recognizable to natives and students of East Lansing. A large blue house, located at 415 M.A.C., is known not just for its loud color, but for it being one of the few properties left in East Lansing as a co-op landmark. The house is a part of the Michigan State University Housing Cooperative, and allows students to jointly control and have equal shares, membership and occupancy rights to the housing community. Photo of the Co-op, also known as Howland (Cred Mike McCurdy).

Provision Living logo

Provision Living retirement community to be built on Abbot Road

As student housing high-rises stack up on Grand River Avenue, something different is coming to Abbot Road. Provision Living, a three-phrase senior living community, has been approved by the East Lansing City Council and will begin construction this spring. Provision Living Principal David Baylis attended the council’s Jan. 21 meeting to present his company’s vision. “Our core business is taking care of seniors and being part of communities,” Baylis said.