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Coldwater City Council passes resolutions to spur development of Kerr Building downtown

COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - A trio of resolutions, intended to jumpstart the redevelopment of the Kerr Building in downtown Coldwater, were approved at last night's regular meeting of the Coldwater City Council. All told, the proposed grants, abatements, and private dollars would constitute a $5.5 million investment on the project which developer Jennifer Wingard plans to start next year.

One resolution would authorize the city to to apply for Rental Rehabilitation funds from the Michigan State Housing & Development Authority, which would assist in the creation of 14 residential rental units on the second and third floors of the building. Another resolution designates the property as "blighted", which would qualify the building for additional Community Development Block Grant funds from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation that would be put toward creating up to 3 commercial spaces on the first floor. Finally, an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation District which encompasses the entire Kerr Building was established by Council; a public hearing for an OPRA abatement application has been scheduled for Council's December 9 meeting.

Another Coldwater eyesore is set to meet the wrecking ball soon, as City Manager Jeff Budd revealed that the long-vacated Sunoco gas station on the city's east side would soon make way for an O'Reilly Auto Parts store. Site plans for the property will be considered by the City Planning Commission at an upcoming meeting.

Construction on the Robert W. Browne Aquatic Center on the Legg Middle School campus and the Robert W. Browne Recreation Center at Heritage Park will begin on December 15 - roughly a year after the gift from the philanthropist and former Coldwater resident that made the two projects possible was announced.