Direct development with Corridor Improvement Authorities

Develop outside the traditional downtown

A picture of downtown Detroit

Like many rural Northern Michigan communities there are a plethora of development opportunities outside the traditional downtown but what can a community do to help mold and direct what that development looks like? Through the state of Michigan Corridor Improvement Authority (CIA), communities can do just that.

Much like a Downtown Development Authority (DDA), a CIA comes under Public Act 57 of 2018-Recodified Tax Increment Financing Act. According to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), “The Corridor Improvement Authority Public Act 57 of 2018 is designed to assist communities with funding improvements in commercial corridors outside of their main commercial or downtown areas.”

Once established, a CIA can hire a director, create a development and tax increment financing plan, and even issue revenue bonds. There are certain criteria a CIA must meet in order to be in compliance.

Michigan State University Extension partner Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) assisted Warner Township of Antrim County and Elmira Township of Otsego County through an education process on how they could establish a joint CIA. The NLEA helped make sure the corridor met the criteria within the act and followed the legal requirements if they chose to establish the authority.

Michigan State University Extension has had a unique relationship with the regional economic development organization Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) for more than 20 years. Recognizing the strength of combining resources, this partnership focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship growth and community infrastructure throughout a four-county region in the northwest Lower Peninsula, specifically Antrim, Charlevoix, and Cheboygan counties. As a result, the NLEA utilizes resources offered through MSU Extension as it provides leadership to state-wide programs sponsored by MSU Extension.

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