Calumet 5th street building rehabilitation project nears completion

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 6:35 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2023 at 9:26 PM EST
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CALUMET, Mich. (WLUC) - New life is being breathed into old structures on Calumet’s 5th street.

Investors continue to renovate unused buildings to become commercial or long-term rental spaces.

“We have this infrastructure here that we want to see used,” said Main Street Calumet Executive Director Leah Polzien. “Versus creating more infrastructure that must be maintained by all of us as taxpayers.”

Grant funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)’s community revitalization program covers up to 50% of an investor’s renovation costs.

This helps them bring modern business to otherwise vacated spaces.

“It’s great to see people coming and wanting to re-invest right downtown,” continued Polzien. “To appreciate our history and make use of what’s existing.”

Former Hancock resident Morten Haugland is one such investor.

He and his wife purchased several buildings for renovation, including the former Baer Brother’s meat market building.

The project is near completion.

“This building needed everything from top to bottom,” said Haugland. “The roof was caving in and the building was collapsing in on itself because of renovations that had happened over the years. We had to start basically building a new building inside the building.”

This included installing a ground-floor apartment and two upstairs.

Morten says he would love to see all of Calumet grow this way.

“I would like to see a busy Main Street with all the buildings occupied on the first floor with businesses,” continued Morten. “I would like to see a reason for someone from Houghton/Hancock that’s 12 minutes away to drive up.”

Main Street Calumet says two other rehabilitation projects are ongoing along with another slated to begin in 2023.