Cadillac Historical Buildings To Come Back To Life, Bought By Downstate Entrepreneur
"Once you start filling up that space, it will really take a whole new life on."
Two historic Cadillac buildings — virtually dead for a decade — are about to come back to life with one man pushing for progress.
A downstate real-estate developer and philanthropist saw promise in the Cobbs & Mitchell and Olson buildings in downtown Cadillac.
His plan: use them to bring new businesses and opportunities to the area.
9&10’s Cody Boyer met the entrepreneur who bought the buildings and has the story.
"I bought the building without a plan, which is not usual for me, and so I really started from ground zero,” says Robb Munger, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Promising growth has to start somewhere.
That’s what Grand Rapids developer Robb Munger saw in the Cobbs & Mitchell building — empty for around 10 years.
"It’s been a tremendous amount of planning,” Munger says. “One, getting a good, clear scope of where the building needed to go for the community."
The building is not the only one Munger recently bought up.
Down the street, another building…and more to see.
“Jimmy John’s is going to be in Olson,” Munger says. “Edward d. Jones is going to be in the lower level here. There’s going to be an engineering firm on the upper level. It’s going to come alive."
Robb says it took about 8 months to get to this point but when you go inside, despite issues with blight, he sees a lot of promise."
"We’re going to have close to three-quarters of a million dollars in investment with the building,” Munger says. “It’s just nickeled and dimed all the way up."
"My philosophy on anything in the downtown area is the more the merrier,” says Michelle Bosscher, owner of Serendipity nearby.
Other shops, like Serendipity, see Robb’s plan as a door opening for downtown revival.
"The more businesses, the more jobs, the more whatever it is, the more it brings in people,” Bosscher says. “Nobody wants to go to a one-horse town."
"I think it’s really going to be really a transformational development and I hope it leads to other developers and other people wanting to invest in Cadillac,” Munger says.
Construction will begin this September and is expected to be complete by next spring.
Businesses will be able to start moving into the Cobbs & Mitchell Building by the end of December.