State of Michigan grant helping restart major development project in Alma

A multi-million dollar renovation project for the opera house in downtown Alma received a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.(Photo Credit: Drew Moore/WSMH)

The opera house has stood on the corner of Superior and State Streets in Alma for more than a century, now it looks like it’s going to get a makeover. The State of Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced that Alma College was approved for a $1.5 Million dollar grant to restart the project. A fire damaged the building seven years ago. An original plan to renovate the building was halted in 2015 after a problem with a developer. Renovations on the building were at the half way point when work stopped. Alma College President Jeff Abernathy says receiving the grant from the State of Michigan will help finally complete the project.

“This is the most important investment in downtown Alma in a long time. The building will have 15,000 square feet of retail on the first floor. The second floor will have 60 newly remodeled dorms for our students. The Opera House will have a community space for up to 250 people,” Abernathy says.

The entire project will cost approximately $5 Million. The college will finance the remaining $3.5 Million through private donations.

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