Traverse City News and Events

What Is "City Lot?"

July 28, 2015

The vacant, city-owned parcel at 500 West Front Street – a strip of land with a single park bench next to the fire station – could turn into a vibrant gathering space thanks to a new effort launched by business owners, neighborhood associations and local units of government.

Nate Elkins, of Influence Design Forum in Traverse City, is working with the Michigan Municipal League on a grant-funded place-making initiative for the underutilized open space. Traverse City is one of 7 communities in Michigan that received a PlacePlans grant in 2015 designed to help communities plan "transformative placemaking projects"

According to the Michigan Municipal League: "In the west end of downtown Traverse City, several projects are underway to address issues such as pedestrian and motorized infrastructure, streetscapes, and poor connectivity. However, the area lacks a true destination or gathering space. A new design plan for a vacant city-owned parcel along Kids Creek would transform the site into a true community space for residents and visitors, providing both a focal point for this emerging district and a connection to the heart of downtown.”

Elkins and the City Lot steering committee will be building awareness, support and seeking input through onsite demonstration, a website and social media. A community chalkboard has been erected on the parcel for passersby to write ideas and brainstorm uses. Learn more here.

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