Dear Editor,

M&M Plaza Enterprises now controls the 10.68 acres of land that we formerly leased to Kmart. With this change, we are relieved to be able to fix up and maintain the property to avoid the potential of a blighted scene. Like you, we are sad at the loss of what was for years an important part of our local landscape.

We now feel the tension created by costs involved in reclaiming this land to serve our community’s future. We ask for your patience as change progresses, a change akin to restarting a garden that has been dormant for years. Now we are assessing, preparing to wait out winter’s pause, choosing what will grow, and preparing to sow in an unpredictable environment, all before we will see the results. We are anxious because the journey seems long but at the same time, we are motivated by the possibilities of what can be created if we respect the natural process.

I have talked to people here about the history of the M&M Plaza. The Gustman family created the plaza from swampy, tall grass and weeds 50 years ago. Since then, a wide variety of businesses have come and gone, each reflecting our changing times.

You and I are currently undergoing a time of accelerated changes. I do not have to name them as all of us have been affected during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It is only natural to not want to face more change when so much, on both a national and world level, have been forced upon us. But we are encouraged by the one thing that has remained constant and that is our residents’ ability to adapt.

Once again Menominee residents are being called upon to use that same vigor, enthusiasm and ingenuity to imagine an even better future for our area.

The M&M Plaza’s oversight of the former Kmart acreage is a positive move for the community. M&M Plaza Enterprises has taken a first step by requesting a Special Use Permit to open options for provisional use. The Menominee City Planning Commission will consider that request in alignment with the help of the Smith Group, a Michigan-based planning group hired to update the city’s master plan. The Master Plan’s purpose is to help the town envision its future role and it establishes the parameters of how we can develop this site. This support is vital to our ability to cultivate the potential of the former Kmart site.

You can help, without anyone else’s permission and at little or no extra cost, by being informed in your support, and patient with the time it takes to grow what is possible for our community.

Keith Killen