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      Property owners learn of resources to help their downtowns

      At a glance downtown Negaunee and Ishpeming seem like they are deteriorating, but a closer look shows historic charm waiting to be redeveloped.

      Several property owners from the cities of Negaunee and Ishpeming are learning how to do just that at a community forums hosted by the Lake Superior Community Partnership.

      "Well, we'd like to see the downtown property owners understand that their responsibility to the community and help improve the livability and accessibility to downtown," said Jeff Thornton, Negaunee City Manager.

      The forum brought together several community agencies talking about how they can help fund redevelopment and restoring projects.

      Some owners in the area are already looking at fixing up their buildings.

      "It's a blighted building, it needs everything from structural, the facade, everything," said Daniele Miljour, purchased the Kirkwood Building.

      Also there, The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which helps in redeveloping historic buildings, and restoring facades in traditional small towns like Negaunee and Ishpeming.

      "Giving people more of a reason to spend time or money on Iron Street or surrounding streets. Giving people something to see as they are walking by buildings rather than a blank wall," said Jennifer Tucker, Team Specialist, Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

      Another option property owners have is redeveloping buildings for rental and commercial use.

      The Michigan State Housing Development Authority has around $40,000 in grants for property owners to use.

      Currently in Ishpeming there are four different buildings which are undergoing improvements.

      The push is to get more people doing the same.