Wednesday, December 23, 2015

MEDC approves million-dollar grant for the Dilworth Hotel

All smiles after the MEDC grant was approved are, from left: City Manager Michael Cain, MEDC staffer Dan Leonard, Dilworth owner Bob Grove, Mayor Tom Neidhamer and City Commissioner Hugh Conklin.
Officials at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Strategic Fund Board have unanimously approved a $1-million community development block grant for job creation and blight elimination for the Dilworth Hotel in Boyne City. Officials from Boyne City including Michael Cain, City Manager; Hugh Conklin, City Commissioner; Tom Neidhamer, Mayor; and Lori Meeder, Main Street Director, joined Bob Grove to offer support of the project to the MSF board.
The community development block grants (CDBG) were created to help encourage private development in underutilized and vacant buildings. Redevelopment projects like the Dilworth Hotel have extraordinary costs above and beyond normal development costs such as environmental remediation of lead and asbestos, selective demolition and façade stabilization, as well as major upgrades for barrier free access and fire suppression systems compliance.
Without support from funding options like CDBG, Brownfield and Local Reimbursement programs, investments in historic renovation projects would not be possible.
“The need for public and private partnership is key to community development. Financial support from the state and local level is critical to make this investment financially feasible,” said Michael Cain, City Manager of Boyne City.
The Dilworth Hotel sat vacant for more than seven years and there has long been vigorous public support for bringing this community asset back to its original glory. It is a landmark with strong ties to Boyne City’s history. Its location at the entrance and main corridor into downtown has kept this a top priority for the community for many years.
“This is really a catalyst for future projects and redevelopment and will help spur economic development in and around the community. We are so fortunate to have someone like Bob Grove who has a keen interest and passion for bringing the Dilworth back to the way it was 100+ years ago,” added Lori Meeder, Main Street Director.
Work has begun to stabilize the brick façade and the roof system before winter with window repairs to begin soon. “The plan is to fix all of the existing windows instead of replacing them. My goal is to renovate the hotel with historical integrity. I have studied all of the original features and attributes and will work to keep the Dilworth true to its original character,” said Bob Grove, owner and developer.
The 103 year old Dilworth Hotel opened in 1912 and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since the mid-1980s. Once completed, the three story, 28,000 square foot hotel will provide much needed accommodations with 26 rooms, a restaurant, a banquet room and a pub. Discussions have begun with a management group to operate the hotel.
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