Massive ‘Cadillac Commons’ project coming together; work started this month

Via Cadillac News

By Chris Lamphere

CADILLAC — Ground has been broken on several massive projects near Cadillac City Park, collectively known as the “Cadillac Commons.”

As you may have noticed, work on the renovation of the Rotary Performing Arts Pavilion has been ongoing for several weeks, and this month, construction on the second project in the Cadillac Commons — the Cadillac Heritage Plaza — has begun.

A “fast and furious” construction schedule has been planned for the installation of utilities on Elk Avenue as the first phase of the Cadillac Heritage Plaza.

Work began on April 14 and is expected to be completed by May 4.

During that time, crews from CJ’s Excavating, Atkins Electric and engineering firm Prein & Newhof will coordinate to bury overhead utilities in the alley.

Following the expected completion date of May 4, construction of the actual plaza is scheduled to begin a few days later on May 9.

From that time until June 30, the entire parking lot and Elk Avenue will be under construction. When it is finished, there will be a new curb, sidewalks, plaza in the center of what would be two parking areas, a splash pad, fireplace, drinking fountain, misting station, benches, trash receptacles, bike racks, traffic-blocking bollards, decorative lights and planting beds.

No work will occur on the project June 4 and 5, the weekend of the Back to the Bricks car show. The construction site will be maintained under a project closure with fencing.

Later this summer, work on the third project of the Cadillac Commons — the open-air farmers market behind the movie theater — is scheduled to begin.

How are all these projects getting paid for?

The Rotary Performing Arts Pavilion has been funded through a combination of donations by the Rotary Club and a crowdfunding campaign that so far has collected $20,020. If they are able to reach $50,000 by April 29 — nine days from now — they will win matching funds from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s “Public Spaces, Community Places” program. To make a donation for the Rotary Pavilion project, go to go

Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia said while they have not yet received any bids on the second phase of the Heritage Plaza project, he estimated the total cost of the plaza will be around $1 million.

While they are still seeking community donations toward the project, such as a donation from the Cadillac Leadership Class, Peccia said the Downtown Development Authority has agreed to fund the project through cash on hand, as well as bonds, if necessary.

Peccia estimated the open-air farmers market will cost “several hundred thousand dollars” to finish. He said this project will be funded similar to the plaza, through a combination of grants, donations and bond financing, if necessary.

The final project of the Cadillac Commons will be the extension of the White Pine Trail into downtown.

Peccia said they are seeking grant contributions on this project, but further details are still being worked out.

Since the city hasn’t been borrowing money for anything for some time, Peccia said they are in good shape if they need to do so for any of these projects.

He added, however, that the city wants to gather as many community contributions as possible so they can cut the amount they would have to fund through bonds.

One of these contributions will be made on Friday at 10 a.m. at the city park, when the city will accept a $50,000 contribution from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

“None of these projects would be possible without the tremendous community support,” Peccia said. “This will create new and exciting places for people to meet and enjoy. This will make Cadillac a true location destination in Northern Michigan.”

On Tuesday, April 26, from 5 to 6 p.m. at city hall, officials will be on hand to answer questions and address any concerns about the Cadillac Commons projects.