Traverse City News and Events

What's Next for Nonprofits at Planned Innovation Center Site?

March 25, 2024

Change is coming to a small but busy corner of Elmwood Township that will soon house the Traverse City Freshwater Research & Innovation Center. 

The project—a collaboration between Discovery Center & Pier, 20Fathoms, Traverse Connect, Northwestern Michigan College, and Michigan Technological University—aims to build a world-class facility that will help establish the Grand Traverse Region as “the hub for education, research, development, and commercialization of freshwater and marine technologies and their applications affecting the Great Lakes and similar freshwater systems.”

The $27 million first phase of the project, expected to break ground in late 2025, includes a 35,000-square-foot building with research, lab, classroom, and business incubation space. This facility will augment the Discovery Pier directly across M-22, which also is undergoing a transformation from a blighted former coal dock into a new community space.

And while there’s plenty of excitement around the new project, it will disrupt the operations of several nonprofits that have long occupied the site, including some that will have to move to make way for the new facility. In this week's Northern Express, sister publication of The Ticker, writer Art Bukowski checks in with those organizations to find out what’s next in store for them.

The Northern Express is available to read online, or pick up a free copy on newsstands at nearly 700 spots in 14 counties across northern Michigan.

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