Cheboygan, Michigan Market Study and Downtown Wayfinding Plan

As the City and the DDA proactively sought ways to improve the appearance and vitality of the downtown, a primary challenge was the former Woolworth’s store. The building sat vacant for nearly a decade and became an eyesore and environmental hazard.

The City retained McKenna to identify possible uses for the Woolworth building. McKenna’s reuse plan focused on identifying economically feasible reuse scenarios for the Woolworth building site. To develop scenarios, McKenna conducted a mail survey of area residents to identify why and for what purposes people visit downtown Cheboygan. Using the data from this survey, McKenna completed a comprehensive market study that identified potential uses for the building site. Finally, McKenna ran a series of development pro-forma scenarios to determine what kind of development would be feasible from a market standpoint. The pro-forma scenario analyses indicated that some but not all, proposed reuse scenarios were feasible under current market conditions. The pro-forma scenarios also identified what kind of assistance the DDA and the City would have to provide as part of a public-private partnership to make the redevelopment of the Woolworth building site a reality.

The City and DDA then retained McKenna to develop a coordinated wayfinding plan to connect downtown attractions with residential and recreational facilities on the other side of the river.

McKenna identified important points of interest and attractions to serve as the basis for the wayfinding plan, and developed a series of design concepts for review with the DDA. After selecting and refining a design concept for the wayfinding program, McKenna specified sign designs and locations throughout the City.