Community Revitalization

Sprouting Smart Growth

The steady and significant rise in IPL patronage has been fueled in part by population growth in Green Lake Township which saw a 15.5% increase from 2000-2010, compared to a 12% increase in Grand Traverse County at large and a .06% decline for the state of Michigan. [1]

Significantly, while other areas in northern Michigan garner population increases primarily from people 65+, Green Lake Township has experienced its greatest increase with younger residents and families. The Village of Interlochen’s close proximity to Traverse City, coupled with more affordable housing options, have set the stage for even more dramatic growth in the years ahead. Further, IPL draws a substantial number of patrons from bordering townships as well as neighboring Benzie County.

Despite two long-standing community assets – Interlochen Center for the Arts and Interlochen State Park – the Village of Interlochen has been challenged to find the spark for its 2005 master plan.

The village faces geographic growth constraints that make smart design difficult. Its inception as a railroad stop began development on a linear trajectory. The narrow passage between Duck and Green lakes promotes Interlochen’s “Drive Through” design. In addition, the state park has occupied 200 acres on Duck Lake for nearly a century while Interlochen Center for the Arts, established in 1928, straddles the main thoroughfare with nearly 1,500 acres. With no geographic or aesthetic focus to kindle economic development, investors have overlooked Interlochen to revitalize other communities in the region.

[1] U.S. Census 2000-2010