From the Economic Development Desk of the
September 29, 2021
You are receiving this email because your organization is at one of the economic development tiers with the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce. As always, we encourage your comments and questions.
There are many things to report on since my last update. If you recall, the last update centered around the Alpena CRTC and the benefit of having it here for all of us in terms of the positive economic influence it has on our region. We learned that our request for funding under the DCIP program for the Alpena city water project was declined. Our proposal was compelling and well done but there were many worthy projects across the country that ultimately scored higher. We will now seek other sources to help the city defray some of the cost.

On a more positive note, there are many things in the pipeline that look favorable. Of course, I need to qualify my comments by stating that these are based on what I know today. These projects are fluid and often encounter delays or complications that in some cases can derail them. I am optimistic that the majority will ultimately move forward and result in a new business within our community. As a high-level overview, these projects are at the point in the process where there are ongoing meetings with developers, me, either the city or township officials, architects, and attorneys. Most of these projects have associated site plans for review by the government entities to discuss potential zoning variances and processes for having them waived. Some have site control already. Others are working on it. Some are working on the environmental due diligence to assess suitability of the site and whether the brownfield authority needs to be involved. Among the projects, there are:
  • two retail locations
  • two hotels
  • a medical oriented business
  • a national restaurant
  • a mixed use project with retail and market rate apartments 

There are other projects also in the works that I have not included in the above. These projects above represent millions of dollars of potential investment in our community. My hope is that they all come to pass but feel confident many of them will become reality. Each project makes our community better by adding convenience, consumer options, and enhancing our economic diversity. 

I am also glad to hear more conversation around housing recently. Many of us know the need exists but few are ready to take the associated risk to fill the void. I have been encouraged in recent weeks by the calls I have taken from people exploring the opportunities to help solve the housing gaps that exist today. Our ability to bring people to our community will fail so long as we do not have places for them to live. A combination of homes, condos and apartments need to be included as part of an overall housing solution. We have many elderly folks living alone in single family homes larger than they need. If there were viable alternatives for them to downsize it would free up some of the family sized homes needed to attract younger families. To that end, I am committed to help support any of the housing initiatives brought my way. 

As always, more to come next month. In the meantime, be well and stay well. 
Plan to join us for the last Good Morning Alpena Breakfast of 2021:

Good Morning Alpena Breakfast – The Future of Economic Development
Date: Friday, November 5, 2021
Time: 7:00 a.m. breakfast; 7:30 a.m. program
Location: Alpena Senior Citizens Center, 501 River St., Alpena
Details: Cost is $10 per person, registration required in advance to or 989.354.4181. Sponsored by Accident Fund Insurance Company of America.
We here at the chamber and economic development are still focused on our missions and continue to work for you.
Chairman Level ($3,201+)
Alpena Agency, Inc.
Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union
Alpena Community College
Alpena County
Alpena Power Company
Bannan Funeral Home
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Charter Township of Alpena
City of Alpena
Edward Jones – Andrew Kowalski
Edward Jones – Bryan Strong
Edward Jones – Charles R. Ingle
Edward Jones – Eric M. Ferguson
Edward Jones – Marc K. Ferguson
Edward Jones – Pamela Kirchoff
H.P.C. Credit Union
Huron Monuments and Memorials  
Lappan Agency
MidMichigan Health
Presque Isle County
Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-Op
Wolverine State Credit Union

Partner Level ($1,500) 
Alpena Community Credit Union
Alpena Public Schools
Bedrock Contracting and Excavating
Besser Company
Builders First Source
Clearview Car Wash
Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan
Downtown Development Authority
Decorative Panels International (DPI)
DTE Energy
Employment Services Inc. (ESI)
ITC Holdings, Corp.
Keystone Rental Equipment
LeFave Pharmacy and Compounding
MI Stop Citgo Station
Northland Area Federal Credit Union
Pennzoil Ten Minute Oil Change Center of Alpena
PNC Bank
Propane Plus Inc.
State Street Auto Wash
TCF Bank
Tier4 Technical Support
Timm Construction Company, LLC
Vintage Auto Wash
Sponsor Level ($475)
Alcona Health Center - Alpena
Alpena Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Alpena Beverage Company
Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library
Alpena Events Complex
Alpena Glass Company, Inc.
Alpena News Publishing Company
Alpena Supply Company
Austin Brothers' Beer Company
Banner Realty
Besser Foundation
Boldrey, Senchuk, Rouleau & Williams, CPA's, PC
Bolenz Jewelry
Building Express Inc.
Century 21 Northland
Clark Construction Company
Cliff Anschuetz Chevrolet Inc.
Cocoa Capital Corp
Compassus Hospice
Consumers Energy
Control Solutions Inc.
Dean Arbour Ford Lincoln
Devere Industrial, LLC
Downtown Union 76 LLC
Everett Goodrich, Inc.
Fiber Char
H&R Block
Harbor North Dental Associates
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Huntington National Bank
Huron Engineering & Surveying
Industrial Image, Inc.
Lewis & Lewis Professional Surveying, Inc.
McDonald's Restaurants
Meridian Contracting Services, LLC
Michigan Works Center
Midwest Diesel Service
Midwestern Broadcasting (WATZ)
Northern Abstract & Title Agency
Northern Eye
Omega Electric & Sign Company Inc.
Ossineke Industries
Plowman's Collision Service
Pompeyos Mexican Grill
Presque Isle Township
R.A. Townsend Company
R.S. Scott Associates, Inc.
RE/MAX New Horizons
Ramada Alpena/Sneakers Bar, Grill & Arcade
Real Estate One of Alpena
ServiceMaster Home & Office
Sherwin Williams
Skiba Insurance Service
SkyWest Airlines
Specification Stone Products
Star Staffing Alpena
Straley Lamp & Kraenzlein P.C.
Stratford Group Ltd.
Switzer Veterinary Clinic
Tarkington Family Dentistry
Team Elmer's
The Drug Store/Northern Exposure Framing & Matting
The Home Depot
Thunder Bay Accounting
Thunder Bay Electric, Inc.
Thunder Bay Eye Care
Thunder Bay Family Dentistry
Thunder Bay Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Thunder Bay Tree Services, LLC
True North Radio Network
W.G. Benjey Inc./S&A Company
Weinkauf Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
Werth Development, LLC
West Design Center, LLC
White, Wojda and Curtis
Wolgast Corporation
Young Appliance, Electronics, Furniture & Mattresses
Zen 24 Hour Fitness Center