TC can have tall buildings and still be 'authentic,' says consultant

Oct 11, 2016

Joe Minicozzi says good city planning has created a vibrant downtown in Traverse City.
Credit Aaron Selbig

Traverse City has called in an expert to help with its growth and development issues. The city hired consultant Joe Minicozzi to take a look at the economic impact of land parcels throughout Grand Traverse County.

Minicozzi says Traverse City is on the right track to growth and development.

“Traverse City is really cool,” says Minicozzi. “I think you’re doing a lot of things in your downtown right. You’re growing and harvesting more wealth in an area where you already have an infrastructure investment.”

Minicozzi says cities can get more bang for their tax buck by developing land downtown than they can by building a box store on the outskirts of town.

“Think of how we talk about cars,” he says. “We don’t talk about cars on a miles-per-tank basis. That doesn’t tell us anything about the efficiency of the vehicle. When we break it down to the gallon of gas, then we can see which one is a better performer.”

Minicozzi says the same is true when comparing properties. He says a small downtown business or residence earns far more tax revenue for a city than a box store sitting on 30 acres.

Minicozzi is presenting his findings this week at the State Theatre and the Traverse Area District Library. He spoke with IPR's Aaron Selbig about development, nine-story buildings and Traverse City’s way forward.