Andrews University unveils plans for redesign of downtown Buchanan

NOW: Andrews University unveils plans for redesign of downtown Buchanan

BUCHANAN, Mich. -- City officials and Andrews University unveiled what they’re calling the next wave of redevelopment in Buchanan.

We first told you about this project when it had just begun in January, the university’s School of Architecture students and the city joined forces to draw up concepts that showcased the existing charm of Buchanan, but also addressed things the city is missing.

“In the north side, which is a historically black neighborhood, you can see it’s been neglected and our discussion about housing was really needed in a city that’s full of historic buildings,” said Andrew von Maur, Professor of Architecture at Andrews University.

Where other areas needed a focus on historical preservation. 

“It just so happens north of Buchanan is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Michigan – which is the Moccasin bluff – so we reached out to the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi on how we sensitively engage this landscape,” said von Maur.

Renderings of Front Street show generous storefront space, while the historic Common lives up to its name with benches, tables and chairs – and even residential buildings – to feel like a true town square.

Plans even include an ice rink at the popular duck pond right in the middle of downtown.

What it all ties back to – increasing economic development. 

“One of the things that came through loud and clear in the survey the city had been conducting is that people are dying for more dining and entertainment venues in Buchanan, things to do,” said von Maur.

The city said none of the concepts are shovel ready right now, but they’d like to get started on some of the smaller projects immediately and hope showing people how feasible these ideas are will build excitement in the community.

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