Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Tuesday

July 8, 2014

Glenn Puit: Meijer, U.S. 31 and the public bus

TRAVERSE CITY — I’ve received feedback from readers about the photo of me that runs with this column.

The photo, they say, makes me look mean.

Well, I just want you to know I’m not mean. I’m actually warm and fuzzy on the inside but I prefer the mean look because there’s no smiling in journalism.

Okay, on to why we are here. The Biz scoop:

Meijer development is HUGE -- Have you driven by the area that will someday be home to a new Meijer store in Acme Township in the development officially known as The Village at Grand Traverse? A few words came to mind when I saw all the bulldozers and expanse of newly turned brown dirt along M-72. Those words are "wow" and "yikes".

This thing is huge. I take that back. Beyond huge. When I first saw it I assumed it was a golf course complex, a new NASA launch facility or perhaps the next O'Hare of the north.

Look no further than the dirt-moving in Acme if you want an indication of the future growth potential of the Traverse City area economy and the type of expansion issues ahead for this incredibly attractive region. This project's size alone -- not to mention attempts to fix local elections -- are good reasons why this proposal is so controversial.

Acme Township will never be the same again.

More on U.S. 31. -- Get ready to sit. I wrote a week ago about how dangerous it can be for pedestrians on U.S. 31 north of town, especially this summer as a drive down the state highway can feel like an audition for Formula 1 racing. It's worth remembering, though, that next summer this incredibly important thoroughfare will figuratively go from freeway to parking lot. Commuters north of town, you've been warned -- the Michigan Department of Transportation will completely reconstruct of the incredibly important road in the summer of 2015 from Three Mile Road all the way to Holiday Road. They are replacing the roadway all the way down to the sand. Repaving also will extend nearly to the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.

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