Boutique Hotel, Event Center in the Works for Downtown Manistee

Downtown Manistee is making room for a huge development project.

Little River Holdings and CL Real Estate Development recently presented plans to the Manistee City Council that will reshape and reinvent the gateway to River Street.

Brant Cohen, a Michigan development associate with CL Real Estate, says, “It’s a little bit historic and a little bit new. We wanted to make sure we develop something that reflects the beauty of the town, it’s one of the most beautiful downtowns that I’ve ever seen so we want to build on it, not take away from it.”

The Spirit of the Woods Gateway Project includes an upscale boutique hotel, event center for weddings and corporate meetings, and a space for food trucks and vendors to park.

“By having all of these individual components it will really bring a lot of activity into downtown besides just shopping and dining. So, it will keep more visitors right in the heart of the city,” Cohen says.

Marc Miller, economic development director for the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce, says the gateway project will bring more people into downtown.

“This will give them a really cool, great quality hotel room that they will be able to stay and then do the downtown historic tours, but also be able to enjoy our natural resources, our trails, our water, our beaches,” Miller says.

Xavier Verna is the executive director of Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts. He says the gateway will encourage more travelers who might drive past the Manistee area to stop, stay and play.

“What we will realize, I think, is a ton more income in our community. Everybody’s going to benefit. I think this is a huge win for everybody.”

Little River Holdings and CL Real Estate Development hopes to start construction on the Gateway Project next year.