BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Cornerstone Alliance, Berrien County’s lead economic development agency, has issued a request for interested developers to submit proposal on redevelopment of the iconic Farmers & Merchants Bank building in downtown Benton Harbor.


The former Farmers & Merchants building has been a noticeable presence in Benton Harbor since its opening in the late 1800s. The building has changed ownership several times in recent years and has received significant interest from developers throughout the region. Cornerstone Alliance recently purchased the historic building and will begin a $250,000 facade renovation project in June.


“The F&M Bank Building is a prominent site on Main Street,” said Stephanie Scott-Sims, Director of Entrepreneurship and Placemaking at Cornerstone Alliance. “Creating a destination at the F&M Building will bring new people and dollars into the City of Benton Harbor. Redeveloping this building will support the diverse businesses in the Benton Harbor Arts District and create another destination for the community. We encourage all business owners and developers looking for a new opportunity to reach out to us with their ideas.”


The former Farmers & Merchants building is located at 92 West Main Street, Benton Harbor. The two-story building has more than 12,500 square feet of available space and is zoned for commercial activity. It is steps from the Benton Harbor Arts District and the new mixed-use development at the Sheffield Building on Pipestone Street, as well as the planned $3 Million renovation of the Harbor Center mixed-use building at the corner of Pipestone and Main Streets.


“For many years, the F&M Building stood as a symbol of economic prosperity in Benton Harbor,” said Greg Vaughn, COO and Vice President of Business Development for Cornerstone Alliance. “So much work has gone into restoring historic buildings on Main Street and we believe the F&M Bank Building is the next logical space to redevelop. Private developers have found success with projects like Sheffield Flats, Saranac Flats, and the Hawks Nest, all redeveloped spaces in downtown Benton Harbor. We’re looking to help the next developer execute a vision for new businesses on Main Street.”


Interested parties should visit http://bit.ly/2wbqGo2 for full details prior to the submission deadline of Friday, July 26, 2019 at 5 p.m. (EDT). Preference will be given to developers looking to create a destination use that generates activity for resident and tourists, day and night, year-round, including but not limited to: the food and beverage industry, commercial retail, grocery, mixed use and for-profit ventures.


For additional information, please contact Stephanie Scott-Sims at (269) 925-6100, extension 147.