Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

Inside every thriving community there exists many groups and individuals that make up the whole.  When these people work together, amazing things can be accomplished. This is evident when looking at the Beach Market on Lovett Street in Charlotte. At the grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 29, the community was presented with a newly renovated Beach Market, courtesy of many members of the community, grant money received, and donations from the public.
A joint effort from the Rotary and the Lions Clubs was the push needed to update the 1924 facility. The “Friends of Beach Market” was formed, a partnership between the two clubs. It was integrated into the plans for Project Rising Tide, an initiative that encourages and supports communities in attracting business investment and talent by helping them to create a path toward economic stability and growth.
“This investment in the community,” Mayor Michael Armitage said, “Is beneficial in keeping the community moving forward.”
Starting in May, the Charlotte Artisans and Farmers Market will operate out of the Beach Market structure. The public can also rent the facility.
The improvements include adding bathrooms and two walls that were added to enclose the building completely, an upgrade from the L-shape that it was previously. With the improvements, the building can now be used in inclement weather.
The project cost about $600,000, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) was a major funder. Representatives from the MEDC complimented the group for bringing “New life and new opportunities,” to town, and for making Charlotte “more vibrant to live, visit, and play.”
The Capital Region Community Foundation was also one of the financial backers of the project. Their representative, Laurie Baumer, said they were honored to be on the front end of such a wonderful project for the community. “It’s great to see that the project planners understood the value of placemaking in the community,” she added.
Helen Johnson, the new president of Sparrow Eaton Hospital, mentioned how impressed she is that the Charlotte community is investing in their future with this renovation. Sparrow Eaton is planning programming through Alive to be held in Beach Market this summer. There are events booked through June. “Us being out in the community increases the health and wellness of Charlotte,” she said.
The director of Charlotte Rising, Lisa Barna, took the stage to tell of a conversation she overheard recently. Two young men were walking in front of her near the Beach Market. One told the other, as he pointed at the building, “That’s where my girlfriend wants to get married. She’s already got it all figured out where the food will be, the dancing, everything.”
“We’re open for the public to make their own memories downtown,” Barna said about the conversation. “This will help create a lasting legacy in downtown Charlotte.”
The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce is managing the facility and will be booking the events to be held in Beach Market. Contact the Chamber at 517-543-0400 for more information or to book your event.