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WHMI: Heart of Howell Anchors Positive Developments in 2013

The Heart of Howell project was featured in a WHMI news story as a positive downtown development for the city of Howell. Here is the article in its entirety:

Officials: Heart of Howell Anchors Positive Developments in 2013

September 14, 2013

WHMI Photo of Heart of Howell Building

Courtesy of WHMI Website

9/14/13 – Howell officials say there are many positive developments in the city the economy begins to slowly turn around. City Manager Shea Charles outlined some of those at the Good Morning Livingston breakfast meeting held last Tuesday at Cleary University. Charles tells WHMI that the Heart of Howell renovation project and the planned, 100,000-foot expansion of the former Ogihara plant are just a couple of signs that the local economy is on the upswing. Thai Summit America purchased the Ogihara Corp. plant on McPherson Park Drive last year and plans on investing $52 million in the expansion to make it the company’s North American headquarters. The City of Howell, which granted tax abatements to bring the project into the community, beat out Toledo, Ohio, which was also offering big incentives. A downtown project, Heart of Howell LLC, is currently renovating three former local businesses – Swanns, Spag’s and Thistledown – and converting them into a multi-use complex. Charles is likewise high on Frontal Lobe, an entrepreneurial effort at 110 East Grand River that links tech types, small business owners and startups, with the resultant, synergistic effect of idea sharing designed to help them grow. Also coming to Howell, Charles says, is The Root Restaurant and Bar, whose owner, Ed Mamou, purchased the now-vacant Howell Theatre last spring. He plans to renovate the 10,000-square-foot-space into a restaurant-bar complex with room for live entertainment, wedding receptions and banquets. The Root has one other location — in White Lake Township – that was named the Detroit Free Press’ Restaurant of the Year in 2012. The executive chef of The Root in Howell will be James Rigato, a Howell native who now holds that position at the White Lake bistro. Plans are to open the new restaurant complex next spring. (JK)

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