Slowly but surely, Mancelona’s downtown continues to improve and fill up with newly renovated apartments and businesses.
Downtown Mancelona apartments are full, and new and upcoming businesses include a custom t-shirt store, a farmers market-styled business, a new cannabis store, a bar/restaurant, and at least two additional retail stores.
Much Needed Housing is FULL
There is a strong demand for downtown apartments, according to Jason Green of Anchor Management Group, who owns many of the downtown buildings.
Green continues to work on renovating much needed residential apartments and houses. “When we’re done with the next project, we will have added 11 or 12 residential units downtown over the last few years,” he explained, “and definitely over 20 if you include the residential properties in the village and township.”
“Most of these buildings and houses were vacant and uninhabitable previously.”
New Businesses in Town
Filling up the business levels with tenants has been more challenging for many reasons, yet there is slow and steady progress. In fact, there is only one commercial building still for rent, the former hair salon. This building is 2000 square feet, and will rent for $1000 per month.
The most recent new business is on the corner of US-131 and State Street. “Day’s Designs” is locally owned, and specializes in made-to-order custom t-shirts of all sizes.
Jailhouse Cannabis opened last year, and is actually owned and operated by Green, who managed his own renovation work and opened the cannabis store far in advance of his competitors.
Pathless Finds Gifts & Gallery also opened last year and is located on the other side of the railroad tracks, next door to the senior center. They describe their business as “an art gallery and gift store featuring a collection of unique pieces centered in nature.”
Exciting Businesses Coming Soon
There are also buildings that have been rented to tenants who are still working on opening exciting new businesses.
The former candy store has been leased to Jeff and Mike Nygren-Weaver, who plan to open up another retail store, possibly with sporting goods. The Nygren-Weavers are the owners of the popular and successful Iron Skillet Restaurant and Rooted in Michigan retail store on US-131 south of downtown Mancelona.
In addition, “the former hardware store has been leased to a lady who is hoping to open up a farmers market styled business,” explained Green, who is working on a massive electrical upgrade to the property. “The rear of the hardware store has an ongoing construction project to convert it into two-bedroom residential. There are also future plans to convert the upper level back into functional residential.”
There might also be hope for the most requested business in town: a place to go to have dinner and a drink.
“Yes, there are still long-term plans for the old bar,” Green stated. “We just finished up putting a new roof on the building and measuring for new storefront windows. The interior of the building has been completely gutted.”
He continued. “It’s a huge long-term project that will probably end up with around a $500,000 investment. It’s currently not for rent, and will most likely be operated by myself.”
Last but not least, the former PNC Bank Building on the corner is being renovated for GreenPharm Cannabis Company, who plans to operate a retail store and employee training center. Their plans to open have been delayed due to issues with contractors.
Long Term Businesses Stay in Town
Businesses that have remained in downtown Mancelona long term include the Pizza Shoppe, Bojack’s Bake Shop and Café, Tarbutton Legal Services, Oliver Chiropractic Clinic, and a gas station operated by Derrer Oil and Propane.
In addition, local government buildings downtown include a beautiful historic Mancelona Township Library, and newly renovated Village Building.
Sadly, there remains one vacant building in town that is run down and used for storage, despite several offers to the owner, Dave Hill of Bellaire. The appearance and condition of the former “Hole-in-the-Wall” building continues to disappoint those who are working hard to improve the town.
Outside of Downtown Growing
In addition to what’s happening downtown, the state has provided funds to extend the sewer line on US-131 north of the Family Fare Grocery Store. There is a developer who has talked about building a hotel, restaurant/bar, and more in that area.
There will also be a third cannabis retail store, Nature’s Releaf, next to Family Fare.
Last but not least, Derrer Oil and Propane recently opened a much-needed carwash, which is located on US-131 just south of Mancelona.
For information about the downtown property for rent, contact Jason Green at 989-916-7701.
For information about purchasing any commercial or residential property in the Mancelona and Antrim County area, contact DEK Realty at 231-587-1012.