The City of Muskegon Planning Department, Downtown Development Authority, and Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce partnered with students from the Michigan State University Urban and Regional Planning program to complete a Pine Street Business District Improvement Plan as part of their final semester practicum course. The five-student practicum team visited Muskegon in January 2023 to tour the district and meet with City staff and Pine Street business owners. In early February 2023, the team hosted a public charette at the Muskegon Farmers Market. The final plan was presented on the MSU campus and with at a gathering of Pine Street stakeholders in May 2023.
Created by the students with direction from the City planning department, DDA staff, and MSU faculty, the plan focuses on the blocks surrounding Pine Street between Apple and Western avenues. Analysis of existing conditions, socioeconomic data, the local retail market, and precedent projects and studies informed the practicum team’s recommendations. Highlighted in the plan are potential streetscape and building facade improvements as well as renderings of possible designs for future new buildings in the project area.
According to the MSU Urban and Regional Planning program, the Practicum course consists of graduating undergraduate and graduate students and serves as a means of integrating students’ educational training with real world challenges of developing and preparing a professional planning project in a student-led, faculty-guided learning experience. Each year, planning studies are solicited from potential community partners for students to work on during their final semester. This is the first Practicum project undertaken in Muskegon County since 2015.
On this page is a graphic summary of the plan, the full Pine Street Business District Improvement Plan document, and a video showing the student’s key recommendation.