Plans are in the works to transform a long-abandoned building on North Red Bud Trail in Buchanan into a resort and conference center. (Daily Star photo/AARON MUELLER)
Plans are in the works to transform a long-abandoned building on North Red Bud Trail in Buchanan into a resort and conference center. (Daily Star photo/AARON MUELLER)

Archived Story

Buchanan resort in the works

Published 6:00am Saturday, May 15, 2010

By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star

BUCHANAN – It was once a restaurant and hotel, then a nursing home, but for more than two decades the building at 1207 N. Red Bud Trail in Buchanan has stood vacant, now with plants enveloping the structure.

But plans to transform the dilapidated building into a resort center has City Manager Meg Mullendore pretty excited.

“It’s something that has been an eyesore for so many years,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity.”

At this week’s meeting of the Buchanan City Commissioners, representatives from BP Convergence LLC out of Linwood, Ill., the owners of the 4.4-acre parcel, presented their plans for the new resort center.

It will feature conference space with telecommunication equipment, overnight accommodations, fitness center and lounge.

Mullendore expects not only businesses to use the space for conferences but for tourists to visit while in Southwest Michigan. There will even be shuttle buses to transport people to and from Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo.

“Currently we don’t have anything in Buchanan for overnight accommodations or for hosting conferences,” Mullendore said. “So it’s pretty exciting.”

Other attractions of the resort include a restaurant seating 70 people, indoor and outdoor banquet facilities seating 250 people, a swimming pool, spa, a full service bar, along with new landscaping and parking lot.

Not only that, but the facility will create 30 full-time jobs with a total annual payroll of $670,000. The renovation process will create 60 to 70 construction jobs.

The plans for the new resort come just a week after news broke that Buchanan’s Bosch-Rexroth Corp. facility will relocate to Charlotte, N.C., meaning 45 people could lose their jobs.

Mullendore said the facility will just add to the revitalization of Buchanan’s downtown.

“I think it’s definitely something that we need,” she said. “As a community, we will embrace it. It will be an entryway into our community.”

While there is still no timetable for the project, Mullendore said cleanup of the site will begin in the next one to two weeks while BP Convergence gets the necessary building permits.

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