Dowagiac approves Wounded Minnow building Brownfield plan

Published 3:19 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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DOWAGIAC — A new redevelopment project in the City of Dowagiac is moving forward.

The Dowagiac City Council approved a resolution Monday adopting a Brownfield Plan for the Wounded Minnow building, located at 234 and 236 S. Front St.

City Manager Kevin Anderson said that the city has been working with Granger-based developer The Rienks Group for the past two years on a plan for the redevelopment of the Wounded Minnow building. The developer’s plans include ten apartment units in the second and third stories of the building, with the restaurant remaining in the lower level. The developer has applied for funding through an MEDC program and has been working through the due diligence process with them. The total capital investment for the project is expected to be more than $3.6 million.

The Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has financial tools available to assist the developer with the recovery of costs incurred for activities including environmental assessment activities, lead and asbestos abatement, and demolition. Additionally, recent state legislation also allows for recovery of the costs incurred for certain housing components, which has also been included with the proposed plan. After hosting a public hearing regarding the plan, council passed a resolution to adopt the plan.

For Anderson and the council, the redevelopment of the Wounded Minnow is the continuation of investment in downtown Dowagiac. Anderson rattled off several projects currently in the works, including FitStop 24’s renovations and the 143 and 113 S. Front St. properties.

“Everywhere you turn, you’re seeing really good private investment in downtown,” he said.