Students: Birchwood should be “More than a mall”

Officials from across the region participated in a presentation Monday in Fort Gratiot about the revitalization of Birchwood Mall. The presentation was given by four Michigan State University Urban and Regional Planning students. After looking at how struggling malls were turned around in other parts of the state and nation, the students presented their ideas on what should be done with our local mall. The first recommendation for the short term was to upgrade lighting, paint, signage, and landscaping. In the long term, the students suggested adding unique dining offerings, office space, and housing to the mall. However, one party was noticeably absent yesterday. Rouse Properties, who owns the Birchwood mall, did not have a representative at the presentation.