LANSING — For its efforts in establishing a solid foundation of policies and procedures to attract private investment, the city of South Haven has been awarded the Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) certification from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The designation has the potential to increase private investment in the city and improve economic development opportunities. It could also lead to more grants from the state for business owners that wish to redevelop their buildings and sites.

South Haven becomes the 47th Redevelopment Ready Community in the state, according to the MEDC.

“Through the RRC program, South Haven is well-positioned to implement and build upon its vision for the future of the community and deliver a strong quality of life for its residents,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development, Michele Wildman. “We are committed to helping grow vibrant communities and thriving downtowns across Michigan by empowering communities to build economic momentum through strong planning, zoning and development efforts. We look forward to continuing to work together with South Haven on these efforts.”

As an RRC participant, the city of South Haven received a comprehensive assessment that measured current community and economic development practices compared to RRC best practice standards. The program evaluates and certifies communities that integrate transparency, predictability, and efficiency into economic development practices. Certification status, according to the MEDC, is a compelling indicator that a community has removed development barriers and streamlined processes to be more competitive and attractive to investors.

To reach certification South Haven worked to improve upon numerous policies and processes. The city’s efforts are highlighted by staff development of a six-year capital improvements plan, a comprehensive public participation plan, and flowcharts that further clarify the steps for the city’s development review processes.

“We are proud to have achieved Redevelopment Ready Communities program best practice criteria. This demonstrates our ongoing commitment towards business growth and retention,” said South Haven Mayor Scott Smith. “RRC certification will allow us to maximize the services and benefits available such as marketing and redeveloping priority redevelopment sites. Given the challenges of the global pandemic, it is essential that the city of South Haven stays focused on economic development and this is just one example of that commitment.”