Downtown Update: What’s Going On

15 Mar

By Ryan Richards
Allis Information Management

Selina Tisdale

Selina Tisdale, Midland Downtown Development Authority Executive Director.

Whenever we’re discussing Midland developments to write about, Downtown Midland always comes up. There’s been so much going on there in the last couple years that I wasn’t even sure I could remember it all. So I chatted (virtually) with Selina Tisdale, who among many other things is the Executive Director of the City of Midland’s Downtown Development Authority. Here’s what she had to say about what’s happening Downtown and what’s still to come.

What’s the status of the East End development? How close are they to opening? How about the tenants?

East End Webcam Picture

Downtown Midland’s East End development, taken from the Spence Brothers webcam at

The tenants that were announced during the initial construction phase (Chemical Bank Trust Department, MidMichigan Health, The Dow Chemical Company and the law firm of Warner, Norcross and Judd) are still the primary tenants for the upper floors. Main floor restaurant space is still working on being filled. Occupancy of the building will take place in stages as tenants complete their respective areas – watch for the first tenants to begin moving in early summer. There’s also a celebration event for the opening of the building planned for summer; stay tuned for more details!

What’s the plan for the five-story building on Main Street – will it be residential, commercial, both? Where is it in the development process?

The Main Street development near Ashman will be a five-story mixed-use facility. This development will feature four floors of residential space, about 19 units, and main floor retail and restaurant. There will also be at least one Main Street level restaurant to be announced.

Midland Downtown Building

The five-story building planned for Downtown Midland. Image courtesy

Demolition of the existing site is slated to begin on March 24. Demolition is expected to take 2-3 weeks with the 24-month long construction process to begin shortly thereafter. While things will be more congested than normal, we do not anticipate interference with Farmer’s Market, Tunes by the Tridge or other much-anticipated summer fun in Downtown Midland. There sure will be a lot to see, though!

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation provided a grant to the City that contributes to the burial of the electrical service along Ashman Street from Ann Street to Larkin. This will greatly enhance the aesthetics of Downtown Midland, eliminating overhead wires, utility poles and the like.

If you’ve seen the renderings for the Main Street development, it is not hard to tell that it will be an impressive structure that will nicely compliment the H Hotel, the historic buildings of the downtown as well as the contemporary look and feel of the new East End development. It will definitely be another signature piece for downtown Midland.

Tell us about the building that just went up on Buttles and Ashman.

SSP Associates

The SSP Associates building on Buttles and Ashman Streets.

The 30,000-square-foot structure has been developed by SSP Associates, a Shaheen Development Co. Three tenants have announced occupancy of the building: Styron will occupy the second floor with Century 21 and Wells Fargo occupying the first floor. Wells Fargo moved into the facility in late February/early March. The others are expected to move in within the June/July time frame.

Are there any other plans for residential space downtown? I know there are some existing loft apartments… what’s the status of those? Are there plans to add more residential space?

416 McDonald

416 McDonald in Midland (click the picture and look for the red circle!). Image courtesy City of Midland GIS system.

The new development in downtown Midland is definitely sparking an interest in bringing more residential to the area. The 19 residential units in the new Main Street development will be the first major investment in new downtown residential units.

At a council meeting in February, SSP inquired to City Council about the purchase of city-owned property at 416 McDonald Street (between Buttles and Indian Streets). SSP already owns the balance of this block and would like to purchase the remaining parcel with the intent of developing a multi-residential housing development at that location. Other residential development inquiries have been made as well, but nothing public at this time.

There are about a dozen “loft” type apartments in the downtown, above existing main floor space; however, they are fairly elusive – as soon as one becomes available it is snapped up. But I hear more and more every day from those interested in adding more residential downtown, both in existing buildings and through new development.

What else would you like to see in Downtown Midland? Comment below and share your thoughts!


Other links:

Our earlier blog post on the East End project

MLive article on the five-story Downtown building

Midland Daily News article on the proposed SSP residential development



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