Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

May 4, 2014

Business boom docks in Northport

NORTHPORT — Eric Allchin stood on the roof of his new business on a cool spring day, hammer in hand, preparing to pound nails into a strip of wood that completed a first layer of rooftop cover.

Allchin worked atop of his Tribune Ice Cream & Eatery in Northport — a business born from a century-old building previously home to at least three different newspapers, hence the Tribune namesake.

“We didn’t want to just tear it down, but there’s been a lot more work to it to preserve the history of the building,” Allchin said. “An absolute rehab.”

Just down the street a team of construction workers pounded nails and cut lumber in a rehab of the cornerstone property at the Lelu Café on Nagonaba Street. The workers breathed new life into the café-restaurant as part of big business plans for Erik and Deirdre Owen. The couple also plans to open the nine-room Northport hotel above the café.

“Two years ago, when we moved here, you could probably buy the whole town for $1 million,” Erik Owen said. “Everything was for sale. Everything. Now there’s nothing for sale, and that’s fantastic. It’s really neat.”

Allchin, the Owens and several others are working on a business revival in traditionally sleepy Northport.

Read the full story on page D1 of today’s Record-Eagle.



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