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Michigan Main Street awards Design Services to owners of proposed Tap House & Grille in Downtown Three Rivers

Three Rivers DDA

Press Release

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Contact: Brian Persky, Executive Director                                    Contact: Nancy Russell
Three Rivers DDA/Main Street                                                       (269) 506-6558
(269) 535-5145

Contact: Debra Ball Johnson, AIA, Design Specialist               Contact: Mike Russell
MSHDA/Michigan Main Street                                                      (269) 506-6559
State Historic Preservation Office
(517) 335-0002

Michigan Main Street awards Design Services to owners of proposed Tap House & Grille in Downtown Three Rivers

Three Rivers, MI– The Michigan Main Street Center has officially awarded its first Design Assistance service to property owners in Downtown Three Rivers.

Mike and Nancy Russell – owners of Main Street Café at 13 N. Main – have plans to purchase and develop 19-21 N. Main (formerly “Pub 21”) and 23 N. Main, pending purchase agreements on both properties.

“We’ve been working closely with the Three Rivers DDA,” said Mike Russell.

“Brian has been very instrumental in pointing us in the right direction, setting up meetings with key state agencies, and pushing us along to help meet our deadlines.”

“Recently, we’ve been working with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and the Small Business Development Center on the final touches of our business plan, and of course [Nancy and I] appreciate the current owners Jennifer and Randy Huyck for working with us in the process of the acquisition of the buildings.”

“I’d also like to thank the Design Committee, and Design Specialist Debra Johnson from the Michigan Main Street Center for awarding us these design services for the facades of the buildings,” Russell added.

Depending on the individual needs of the property or business owner, there are three types of design assistance services available: Preservation and Design Consultation, Design Services, and Historic Tax Credit Assistance.

19-23 N. Main Designs

The Russell’s applied for Design Services in February, and were sent to Lansing for final approval following a March meeting of the Three Rivers DDA/Main Street Design Committee in which members unanimously voted in favor of using the service.

Select Level Main Street communities, such as Three Rivers, are allotted up to three services per year for five years, with a maximum of 15 total services.

When a Design Service request is submitted, the Design Committee uses a selection criteria sheet as a tool in reviewing, evaluating, and selecting projects.  The highest scoring projects are given priority. These six criteria are implementation, need, significance, visibility, appropriateness, and simplicity.

“The Russell’s have invested a lot of time, resources, and energy into this project already,” said Executive Director Brian Persky.

“We are extremely pleased with how thorough the Russell’s have been throughout the entirety of this project. It’s showed in their planning and preparation, and it ultimately showed in the scoring and approval of their application.”

The buildings approved (19-23 N. Main) are a significant part of Downtown Three Rivers, both economically and physically, and have the potential to play a role in the district’s ongoing revitalization. Both buildings contribute to the Downtown Three Rivers Commercial Historic District, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and the Three Rivers Downtown Local Historic District.

The nomination for the National Register listing states that the buildings at 19, 21, 23 N. Main Street were built around 1865-1875 in the Italianate style. Throughout the years, the buildings have housed a variety of commercial enterprises.

The intent of the proposed design service is to outline improvements that will remove the modern storefronts, maintain and enhance the historic integrity of the buildings, improve the visibility and appearance, and retain and enhance Three Rivers’ identity as a historic community.

The proposed design also conforms to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation as developed by the National Park Service. These standards provide guidance that allows for alterations of buildings while preserving its historical, cultural, and architectural integrity.

Following these standards and using the approved Design Services provided by the Michigan Main Street Center, the Russell’s are also able to apply for additional funding through various incentive programs such as façade grants and federal historic tax credits.

“We’re currently in the final stages of ‘getting our ducks in a row’,” Russell said in regards to the project timeline.

“As Nancy and I progress further into the process, we want to say thanks to all the people and agencies that have been vital in helping us. Nancy and I are very excited about the project and hope to help make Three Rivers a downtown destination.”

Existing buildings in current condition pictured above

Existing buildings in current condition pictured above


PUBLIC NOTICE: Water Festival 2015 Street Closures

There will be no parking on Main Street & Portage Street during the following dates/times:

  • Thursday, June 18th from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Parade)*
    *Parade route begins at Ridgeway Floral (901 W. Michigan Ave.) and ends at Lafayette Park (400 N. Main St.)
  • Friday, June 19th from 3:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. (Street Sweeping)
  • Saturday, June 20th from 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Car Show)*

*indicates full road closure

Contact: Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce (269) 278-8193

For a full list of Water Festival activities, visit the Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce website

WF Flyer

Sass in the City: Friday, July 17 from 5-8pm

Press Release

Three Rivers DDA

Monday, June 29, 2015

Contact: Brian Persky
Three Rivers DDA/Main Street Executive Director
(269) 535-5145

Sass in the City offers evening of fun, shopping, girls’ night out in historic Downtown Three Rivers

Three Rivers, MI– “Come get your Sass on!” is this year’s theme for Sass in the City, set to take place on Friday, July 17th from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in Historic Downtown Three Rivers.

Celebrate a night out on the town with friends, dress for the occasion, and shop ‘til you drop with in-store promotions, music, giveaways, and special deals on drinks, food, jewelry, makeup, accessories, pampering services and much more.

“All of your favorite downtown shops will be offering special promotions… exhibiting new products and/or services… informational booths/venues…AND there are ALWAYS special treats in store for YOU!” said Doug Mitchell, event coordinator.

Special thanks to the downtown businesses that sponsored this event alongside the Three Rivers DDA/Main Street program: Lynn’s Garage, The Riviera Theatre, Lowry’s Books & More, Ridgeway Floral, UniQ Jewelry, Love Your Mother, World Fare, Centsible Treasures, Main Street Fit-Ness, PinUp Salon, The Golden Finch Frame & Gallery, Paisanos, and Parker Jewelers.

New this year, a host of some of the area’s favorite food trucks will be lined up and down Main Street.

“What better way to come together and celebrate and have fun,” said Mitchell. “Grab some friends and head downtown to check all of us out and see what we have in store for YOU!  Come on down and get YOUR Sass on!”

For more information, please visit the DDA’s website at trdda.net, or contact Brian Persky at (269) 535-5145.


Sass 2015

See the results from our Market Analysis kick-off public meeting “THRIVE!”

THRIVE Public Meeting & Workshop
May 20, 2015

1. List the three best or most exciting things about Downtown Three Rivers.

  • A dedicated group of people who have invested time, money and energy to downtown
  • Arts! Riviera Theatre/Carnegie Center
  • Combined urban/rural living
  • Walkability
  • Events – e.g. Christmas Around Town
  • Historic buildings, especially Riviera and Carnegie
  • Historical buildings and charm
  • Locally-owned businesses
  • Lowry’s Books
  • Mixed-use buildings (retail and residential) in a historic setting
  • Natural resources – rivers, parks
  • New investments (Brasco, food service at Riviera, Main Street Diner expansion)
  • Riviera Theatre for entertainment
  • The 3 rivers
  • Unique shops and variety
  • Unique, specialized stores that fill niche

2. List three obstacles or challenges to business development efforts in Downtown Three Rivers.

  • Big Box stores
  • Cost of renovations and starting a business
  • Empty buildings
  • Financing is harder to get (for small businesses)
  • Fixation on the past; non-adaptive attitude about possibilities
  • Lack of cohesive vision
  • Lack of public bathrooms
  • More people-friendly / less car-oriented (business route)
  • Parking – parallel parking, steps from west parking, junky rear entrances with poor signage
  • Parking spaces
  • Perception – “nothing for me downtown” (teens, elderly, low-income)
  • Perceptions of the regulations for development (e.g., Historic District Commission roles)
  • Regulatory hurdles – permits/ordinances
  • The “buy local” idea has not caught on yet for many people
  • Through-traffic: creates noise, doesn’t generate business

3. List 3 reasons for someone to expand, open a business, or invest in Downtown Three Rivers.

  • Anchor stores (River City, Lowry’s, Sherwin Williams)
  • Beautiful historic district
  • Beautiful spaces and architecture
  • Centrally located (Local or Chicago-Detroit)
  • Cost-effective
  • Downtown TR and TR in general are easy to access via road, easy to park and walk around downtown
  • Festivals (Harmony Fest, Water Fest) draw customers to the area
  • Historic buildings
  • Nice place for customers to walk while waiting
  • Proximity to parks, rivers and natural resources
  • Sense of community
  • Small town atmosphere – good place to raise a family
  • Supportive community of business owners
  • Synergy with existing businesses
  • Unique space

4. List three things you would do within the next three years in order to make Downtown Three Rivers an even better place to start a business and/or invest (be realistic and specific).

  • Actively solicit new businesses to locate downtown
  • Appoint an ombudsman to assist new businesses through permits and regulatory process
  • Begin a business/building fund for economic development
  • Destination restaurant/brewpub
  • Have quality family activities
  • Improve blocks south of Main Street/Michigan Avenue
  • Increase parking with diagonal parking
  • Infrastructure: Wi-Fi and public restrooms
  • Make it more pedestrian-friendly
  • More restaurants/sidewalk cafes/Internet cafes
  • Open restaurant which is open for lunch and dinner (before 4 PM)
  • Promote and expand quality housing in downtown
  • Recruit “practical” businesses – shoes, clothing, etc.
  • Review, update and amend local ordinances
  • Slow traffic by redirecting through traffic and redesigning roadway
  • Support the expansion of trail system into downtown
  • Welcoming back entrances and develop attractive riverfronts with angles parking on the street side (cohesive design for pedestrians)

5. List three specific types of new or expanded businesses that have the best chance to succeed in Downtown Three Rivers.

Group A
1. Quality restaurant/brewpub*
2. Grocery store
3. Entertainment

Group B
1. Sporting goods (water-specific (boating, fishing)
2. Bike shop
3. Restaurant (open for lunch and dinner)
4. Antique shop*
5. Craft & art supply store

Group C
1. Restaurant open evening hours*
2. Ice cream shop/bakery (summer/winter)
3. Video stores
4. Spices and specialty foods
5. Department store
6. Sporting goods with climbing wall
7. Tool rental

Group D
1. Destination restaurant
2. Brewpub
3. Antique store

Group E
1. Restaurant – non chain*
2. Ice cream parlor
3. Boutique shops

*From the list above, select the one business you feel has the very best chance to succeed in Downtown Three Rivers.

Related: Take our online survey here

Related: Help Downtown Three Rivers “THRIVE!”

Related: Three Rivers awarded market analysis through Michigan Main Street Center


Market Analysis Committee

Joe Bippus, Chair (Economic Restructuring Committee)

Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma (Economic Restructuring Committee)

Bob Sills (Economic Restructuring Committee)

Kara Schroer (Economic Restructuring Committee)

Mary Miholer-O’Connor (Design Committee)

Heather Martell (Promotions Committee)

Danielle Moreland (Organization Committee)


Help Downtown Three Rivers “THRIVE!”

THRIVE! is an open invitation public meeting and workshop being conducted as part of the Downtown Three Rivers Market Study project.

Join us to learn about the new Downtown Three Rivers Market Study project and to participate in a fun workshop that will help us enhance Downtown Three Rivers as a great place to live, work, shop, play, and do business!

The project is being organized by the Three Rivers Main Street Program with support and funding from Michigan Main Street Center.


Three Rivers DDA/Main Street seeking volunteers for Community Cleanup Day 2015

Press Release


Wednesday, March 25th, 2015


Contact: Brian Persky
Three Rivers DDA/Main Street Executive Director
(269) 535-5145

Three Rivers DDA/Main Street seeking volunteers for Community Cleanup Day 2015

Three Rivers, MI– The Three Rivers DDA/Main Street program wishes to invite all community members to take part in a “traditional washing down” of the downtown area on Saturday, May 16th.

“Three Rivers Community Cleanup Day” (formerly Pride Day, Wash Down Day) is being collaboratively planned and organized by members of the DDA/Main Street Promotions Committee, Organization Committee, and Design Committee.

Events in previous years have seen over 100 volunteers, and the DDA/Main Street program hopes to exceed those numbers in 2015. Projects will include planting flowers, pulling weeds, and cleaning up trash among many others.

“Community Clean Up Day is a great way to build relationships between our community and local businesses,” says project chair and Promotions Committee member Terra Miller. “A litter-free flower bed is not just a pretty sight, but it is also a sign of a community that cares.”

“The DDA/Main Street committee’s have been reaching out to several local businesses, churches, and small organizations around Three Rivers. We have some wonderful volunteers lined up for the event, but we are always in need of more.”

Volunteer sign up and morning refreshments will be held at The Riviera Theatre at 8:30 a.m. From there, groups will be assigned to specific locations. Most projects will last 2-3 hours followed by a complimentary lunch and brief volunteer appreciation awards ceremony back at The Riviera Theatre at Noon.

All community members interested can volunteer by going to http://trdda.net/donatevolunteer or by contacting Executive Director Brian Persky at (269) 535-5145 or brian@trdda.net. Local organizations and businesses are encouraged to organize groups as well.

circa 1969 (photo credit: Dan Tomlinson)

circa 1969 (photo credit: Dan Tomlinson)

Three Rivers awarded market analysis service through Michigan Main Street Center

Press Release
Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Three Rivers MS logo


Contact: Brian Persky
Three Rivers DDA/Main Street Executive Director
(269) 535-5145

Contact: Laura Krizov
Michigan Main Street Manager
(517) 241-4237


Three Rivers awarded market analysis service through Michigan Main Street Center


Three Rivers, MI– Three Rivers has been selected to participate in a market analysis service through their participation in the Michigan Main Street program. The market analysis service is one of several application-based services that is offered to all Selected and Master Level Michigan Main Street communities.

The DDA’s Economic Restructuring Committee applied for the market analysis service in January, and received official word from Lansing this week that it had been awarded the service following a statewide comprehensive review of application-based services.

The training and consultation service specifically assists with not only gathering quantitative information that identifies business opportunities in the commercial district, but how to use this information to attract and retain business. The market analysis service is valued at more than $20,000.

“The market analysis service will not only help Historic Downtown Three Rivers more effectively grow in target markets, but it will also be a tremendous asset to the City of Three Rivers and surrounding area,” said DDA/Main Street Executive Director Brian Persky.

Consultants will visit Three Rivers at the end of April for a driving tour, walking tour, visits with businesses, and then guide DDA representatives through a general outline of tasks, follow up dates, and deadlines. The study is expected to wrap up by the end of the calendar year.


Make Valentine’s Day special this year in Historic Downtown Three Rivers

By Rebecca Kramb-Hubbard

Are you searching for something to make Valentine’s Day special? Do you want to make it a memorable day this year? Why not check out these awesome local deals and events going on now until February 14?

Start the day off right!

coffee specials at LaLA valentine mugsLAs valentine cookies

Start out the morning right with something special from L.A.’s Coffee Cafe like a red velvet latte, or homemade heart cookies!

Pick out some fine jewelry! 

Two tone geometric pendant with chambord garnet and diamondUniQ vday collection music note

Check out the lovely Valentine’s Day collection at UniQ Jewelry featuring many Diamond Doug original designs! Also be sure to stop by Parker Jewelers for their “3 Ways to a Woman’s Heart” special (includes roses, pearl necklace, and chocolates for $99) this Valentine’s Day.

Write a love letter to the world!

global love letters

Come in to Love Your Mother and write a Global Love Letter and get 10% off your purchases! Global Love Letters are anonymous messages of affection that are sent out into the world with the sole purpose to spread the love. Also check out Love Your Mother’s Valentine themed items, all 15% off!

Enter a contest!

Vday 2015 give away

The Riviera Theatre, Pinup Salon, Ridgeway Floral, and UniQ Jewelry are teaming up to give away three Valentine’s Day gift baskets valued $100, $250, and $500. Just make a purchase at any of the participating retailers for your chance to win big!

Enter a Bake-off and/or enjoy excellent chocolates!

Chocolate affair

World Fare is hosting the Chocolate Affair where you can try delicious homemade goodies made with fare trade chocolate and use your dollar to vote on your favorite baked goods! Three winners will be chosen and entries will be accepted through February 11.

Grab Supplies!

Vday table centsible treasures

Planing a romantic dinner? Come in to Centsible Treasures and get everything you’ll need for a the perfect night in! On February 14 Centsible Treasures’ entire stock will be 10% off! Plus bring in a friend and you both will get 25% off your purchase!

Enjoy the holiday with your family and community at Winterfest!

Looking for something to do with the family for Valentine’s Day? Come Downtown February 14, noon- four pm, and enter a snowman contest, bowl with a frozen turkey and enjoy special crafts and sales with local merchants!

Order flowers from Ridgeway Floral!

Show your “sweetie” how much you care about them by ordering a dozen roses for just $99.99, or chose from a variety of Valentine’s Day arrangements. Talk to Teresa and get your order in now before it’s too late!

Let the special people in your life know you love them and show your love for your community by shopping local!
candy hearts shop local

Three Rivers DDA/Main Street Design Committee Awards Signage Grants to PinUp Salon and Northside Beverage

Press Release


Wednesday, January 28th, 2015


Contact: Brian Persky
Three Rivers DDA/Main Street Executive Director
(269) 535-5145

Three Rivers DDA/Main Street Design Committee Awards Signage Grants to PinUp Salon and Northside Beverage


Three Rivers, MI– The Three Rivers DDA/Main Street Design Committee recently awarded two grants for signage improvements to both PinUp Salon and Northside Beverage.

The grants were made possible through the DDA’s rebate program.  The program awards rebates to property owners and business owners who improve signage, awnings, and/or painting.  The rebates cover up to 25% of costs, with maximum amounts of $200 per sign, $300 per awning, and $750 for painting – to the extent that funds are available.

PinUp Salon was awarded a grant in the amount of $259.16, which covered approximately 25% of signage and painting costs.

“It’s so great that there are programs out there to help small businesses like mine,” said PinUp Salon owner Danielle Hinman.  “We can’t wait to continue with building renovations in the future.”

Northside Beverage was awarded a $200 grant, the maximum amount awarded for signage.

“We’ve been working hard inside and out to upgrade our business,” said Northside Beverage owner Tim Brundige.  “We want to express our appreciation to the DDA for what basically equated to a 10% rebate toward our new signage. It’s nice to see the City promoting the enhancements.”

Northside Beverage 1 FINAL Pinup Salon FINAL


“100 Friends of Downtown Three Rivers” Campaign set to kick-off in February

Press Release


Friday, January 23, 2015

Contact: Brian Persky
Three Rivers DDA/Main Street Executive Director
(269) 535-5145

“100 Friends of Downtown Three Rivers” Campaign set to kick-off in February


Three Rivers, MI– The Three Rivers DDA/Main Street program is set to officially launch its inaugural “100 Friends of Downtown Three Rivers” campaign in February.

The campaign was recognized as a primary initiative by the Organization Committee last summer when Michigan Main Street specialists visited Three Rivers for committee training sessions in order to help identify priorities in year one of the program.

The “100 Friends of Downtown Three Rivers” campaign is designed to hit on three of the four overarching goals of the DDA/Main Street program: Building Relationships, Communication, and Education and Awareness.

“We’re extremely thankful and very fortunate to have received the support that we have from our current group of partners,” said Brian Persky, Three Rivers DDA/Main Street Executive Director.

“Without these initial commitments, the Main Street program wouldn’t be where it is today. In order to sustain the momentum that we’ve been building, it’s crucial for us to build on that and continue to expand our reach into the community.”

In the past twelve months, downtown Three Rivers was officially designated as a “Select Level” Michigan Main Street community in February, participated in a Baseline Assessment visit in April, and hired a full-time program director (Brian Persky) in June.

Since Persky’s arrival, the DDA/Main Street Board has continued to focus on Board and Committee development with the formation of an Executive Committee and a Nominating Committee, adopting a Vision and Mission Statement, creating a “Board Member Acknowledgement” that incorporates a set of values on how to conduct business, and oversight of work plans.

In addition, the DDA/Main Street program has recorded nearly 1,000 volunteer service hours, adopted a new downtown image, expanded holiday and winter decorations, coordinated Christmas Around Town, created an internship program, and has grown its presence on social media by more than 300%.

All new members of the “100 Friends of Downtown Three Rivers” campaign will receive an inside look to the Main Street program, recognition on the DDA’s website, and a complimentary t-shirt.

Donation levels range from $15 (Friend), $25 (Bronze), $50 (Silver), to $100 (Gold). Contributions are expected to go towards flowers and flower pots, holiday decorations, special events, and other various DDA/Main Street programs.

For more information, please visit the DDA’s website at trdda.net or contact Brian Persky at (269) 535-5145.

100 Friends 2


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Michigan Main Street

Three Rivers is a Select level community in Michigan Main Street, an official affiliate of The National Main Street Center, which is committed to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.

DDA/Main Street Office

Contact us

Phone: (269) 535-5145
Address: 57 N. Main St., Three Rivers, MI 49093