ID enhancement the goal of DDA

The 100 block of West Washington Street in Marquette is pictured this morning. The Marquette Downtown Development Authority has hired a firm to help enhance the district’s identity. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE — Downtown Marquette will be undergoing some changes in the coming months as the Marquette Downtown Development Authority has selected a firm to direct an identity enhancement project.

Earlier this year, the DDA sent out a request for proposals and has selected Arnett Muldrow & Associates, said Mona Lang, executive director of the DDA.

Arnett Muldrow has worked with more than 300 communities around the United States, including ones with prominent main streets, Lang said.

“The consultant is nationally recognized,” she said. “This is what they specialize in: branding and market analysis.”

According to the DDA’s website, meetings for discussing the project start today with various stakeholders. These meetings will be to inform people who are involved in the project, but not from the area, Lang said.

Mona Lang, executive direrctor, Marquette Downtown Development Authority

“It’s a orientation for the consultants to understand Marquette, to understand our essence,” she said.

A public meeting for members of the community will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Marquette Commons, at 112 S. Third St. Local residents are invited to help the process with their thoughts and ideas.

Following the conferences, an online survey will be made available online at downtownmarquette.org for residents and business owners to give their opinions on the downtown district and what they would like to see happen with it.

“We’re hoping they will attend some of the sessions,” Lang said.

All of this information is to help Arnett Muldrow shape downtown into something agreeable with local residents and appealing to tourists and visitors.

Downtown Marquette has expanded outside of its “historic core,” according to the DDA website. What was once just West Washington Street, the downtown district has expanded over the years to include Third Street, Baraga Avenue and more.

“Our downtown is very vital and very accesible,” Lang said. “One of the reasons we’re doing this is for future growth and marketing opportunities. As a staff, we’re excited. This is going to energize some of our businesses and we’re hoping that the outcome of this is a cohesive downtown experience.”

Jeff Maki can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 254.