ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — A yearslong effort to revitalize downtown Allegan is getting a financial boost from the state and federal government.

The record $75.5 billion bipartisan spending plan approved by state lawmakers on July 1 includes $2 million toward improving infrastructure in the heart of the city.

City officials say they began developing a plan for the area in 2018. Since then, the community, local businesses, Allegan city staff and city developers have shaped it further.

(A conceptual rendering by Abonmarche provided by the city of Allegan shows what Locust Street may look like when renovations are complete.)

Between the state funding and $250,000 from the federal government, Allegan will replace water and sewer mains, remove lead service lines, rebuild roads, add landscaping and street lighting, widen sidewalks, reconfigure traffic flows and build a new pedestrian plaza next to Minnie’s Restaurant, just steps away from the Kalamazoo River.

Allegan City Manager Joel Dye said downtown Allegan has experienced “transformative” change. He said the city welcomed more than 20 new businesses and over $8 million in private investment in five years, and better infrastructure “is keep to keeping that momentum.”

“We expect this next round of investment to spark new business opportunity, job creation, and residential living in our central business district,” Dye stated in a news release. “Given our location along the Kalamazoo River, easy access to the Allegan State Game Area and Lake Michigan, and proximity to larger metropolitan areas, Allegan is uniquely positioned to create a place that truly captures the goal of a live, work, play community.”

(A conceptual rendering by Abonmarche provided by the city of Allegan shows the downtown area that’ll be renovated.)

The city expects to start work next year beginning with reconstructing Brady, Hubbard and Locust streets. The entire project is expected to take 12 to 18 months.