The Muskegon Mall was the centerpiece of Muskegon’s downtown, functioning as an economic, cultural center and attraction. When it closed in the early 2000s, it left a void in the middle of the city, taking its downtown clientele to the suburbs. Both the City and Downtown Muskegon Development Corporation sought to reestablish the area into a vital piece of the city and began envisioning an attractive, vibrant and profitable redeveloped downtown. F&V worked with the City and the Downtown Muskegon Development Corporation to redevelop the former 23 acre downtown mall site. With the demolition of the enclosed mall, a traditional street system was reestablished with a human scale in mind that now features new sidewalks, decorative lighting and tree planting. Within the area, F&V:
- Installed direct sewer and water utilities in the popular Shoreline Drive area for economic stimulus.
- Designed roundabouts at Edison Landing and Western Avenue for traffic control and flow.
- Created Chamber Square Rain Garden for collecting rainwater.
- Designed a splash pad at Federal Square for community gathering, relaxation and fun.
- Developed Third Street Commons to include performance stage and outdoor seating for downtown entertainment.
- Redeveloped the primary street grid, adding walkability and “safe street” improvements.
- Featured art-prominent designs for meeting the City’s vision and goals, as well as help with location and foundation of donated sculptures:
- “The Turning Point” (Jason Dreweck)) on Western Avenue across from L.C. Walker Arena.
- “Muskegon, Together Rising” (Richard Hunt) at Western Avenue roundabout.
- “Buster Keaton” (Emmanuel Snitkovsky) on Western Avenue in front of Frauenthal Theater.
- “Sculpture with Stars” (James Clover) at Alcoa Celebration Square.
Since beginning redevelopment in 2003, we have been part of the team that has completed the largest downtown infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Muskegon. With our assistance, the City has received and administered over $2.8 million in grant funding during this time. The Western Avenue Project became a catalyst for further developments and rejuvenation. The Downtown Muskegon Development Corporation has propelled nine new projects totaling over $42 million along the Western Avenue business corridor, including a farmers market, a brewery and apartments. Different annual events are now held downtown, including ‘Taste of Muskegon,’ ‘Art in the Park’ and ‘Bike Time.’ Attractive, vibrant and profitable, the downtown redevelopment has been successful with no intention of slowing down.