Building on Main Street to offer commercial space and apartment rentals

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CHEBOYGAN – Cheboygan City Council approval of a site plan allows a new investor to develop and bring commercial space and apartment rental to Cheboygan’s main street.

The Cheboygan Planning Commission met on March 28, the day before the city council meeting, to review the site plan for the new business at 306 N. Main St.. The planning commission recommended to the council to approve the plan as presented, with some stipulations.

“One, parking spaces – we believe – are sufficient. The area at the back is sufficient for parking spaces,” Cheboygan City Manager Dan Sabolsky said. “But if they need to add more parking spaces, they will need to get a flow control permit, if that extra parking is needed.”

Sabolsky said if there is no additional parking needed for the business, the permit will not be required, as he has an existing parking lot with established drainage. The proposed parking area will have a total of 15 parking spaces, two of which will be designated as handicap spaces.

The rear of the building at 306 N. Main St. will provide apartment rental space, as well as additional parking for the business that will move into the Main Street storefront when the renovations are complete.

“But if they open up more of that area, they’ll have to get one,” Sabolsky said.

The front part of the building being renovated will be a showcase. The rear portion of the building will be a residential rental unit, similar to a one-bedroom apartment.

“Interestingly enough, it actually started,” Sabolsky said. “The gentleman started working on this particular project because he was told he didn’t need a zoning permit.”

The Cheboygan County Construction Department sent the investor, Mark Weih, back to the town of Cheboygan to obtain the proper permits from the town to complete the work inside and outside the structure. He is looking to remodel the interior of the building, which is approximately 2,700 square feet, as well as improving the exterior.

“So he’s really ready to jump on it, because he’s started some of the demolition and things like that, which he could do, but he can’t do anything with the finishing work until that’s approved,” Sabolsky said. “So we got him through the process extremely quickly, I think, in less than a week.”

The objective of the renovations is to obtain a retail business in the front part of the building which will potentially be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., winter hours varying.

Inside the building, in the front section where the retail space will be, the investor brought in crews and blasted the walls down to the original brick used to construct the building. Weih also replaced the building’s front windows and began making improvements to the facade of the building facing Main Street and is working on putting a new roof on the structure.

Councilor Diane Mills asked if there was a floor to this building, or if the building was just very tall.

“It’s a very tall building,” Sabolsky said. “From the front, it looks like there’s a floor. If you go around the back, you notice it’s not.”

The building being refurbished is adjacent to the former office of the Cheboygan Daily Tribune, which is also to be refurbished and provide another retail outlet.  The owner of the building at 306 N. Main St. is working on a number of improvements, including re-roofing.

Over the years, the building between the former Cheboygan Daily Tribune building and Billie’s has served multiple purposes, including being the home of Villa Pizza, as well as a car dealership, Mayor Les Tebo said.

City council members voted unanimously to accept the planning commission’s recommendation, along with the stipulations as stated.

Contact feature writer Kortny Hahn at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @khahnCDT.

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