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Strathmore Real Estate Group Proposes Plan Modification to Accommodate Great Lakes Children's Museum



Acme Township, MI - April 30, 2024 – Strathmore Real Estate Group is pleased to announce a community initiative that could further reshape the former Acme Township Kmart and Tom's Market sites with far reaching benefits to the Grand Traverse region. 


In a recent planning commission meeting, Strathmore Real Estate Group proposed ways to improve the Oak Shore Commons project, like adding a new 16,000-square-foot museum, community events space, and café. The museum could potentially be the new home of the relocated Great Lakes Children's Museum. The request also seeks to revise the planned apartment buildings to add more family/roommate friendly configurations, extend and improve the TART trail further to the North and West (down Shore Road), and expand green spaces on the site. 


“Strathmore Real Estate Group is dedicated to enhancing the community’s cultural, recreational, and educational amenities – that is why we are earnestly working with local leaders, planners, and neighbors to expand and support as many community uses and amenities as possible, like the proposed museum space and expanded TART trail” said Jacob Chappelle, a Principal at Strathmore. “The Great Lakes Children’s Museum has long provided families and students in the region with extraordinary educational exhibits and programs. This proposal is an opportunity, not only continue those contributions, but expand them.”


The proposed changes result from Strathmore’s acquisition of the adjacent former dental lab site, located to the North along US-31. This dilapidated former lab has been a derelict site for several years but could soon be incorporated into the project. Acme Township leaders also challenged Strathmore to find and deliver retail uses along US-31 North, even though residential apartment buildings were approved in their place. Strathmore took on this challenge and was excited to propose the children’s museum, community space, and café concept. 


The recent planning commission meeting was constructive; after the presentation, discussions centered on the potential benefits of incorporating the former dental lab property into the site, how the site could be changed to make it more family-friendly, and how well the potential children’s museum could integrate into greater community.  


Tracie MacPherson, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Children's Museum, has expressed ongoing interest in evaluating a relocation to the site, citing the opportunity for expansion and the inclusion of a science center to address STEM education needs in northwest Michigan.


Strathmore is set to donate the land and assist with related sitework, utility work, and landscaping to financially support the museum’s construction effort, but because this museum building would displace two approved apartment buildings, this public initiative may only be possible with Brownfield support.


There is also an opportunity to provide rent-capped subsidized housing on site through the same Brownfield program. The newly amended Michigan Brownfield legislation is being used throughout Grand Traverse County to increase much needed affordable housing. Oak Shore Commons is the newest development aiming to fulfill the State of Michigan and Grand Traverse County’s housing objectives using the new Brownfield Act. This public-private collaborative effort exemplifies the company's commitment to responsible development and community enrichment.


As plans progress, Strathmore Real Estate Group remains dedicated to engaging with community stakeholders and addressing real housing needs. For further information, concerns, or questions, please contact:


Jacob Chappelle, Principal, Strathmore Real Estate Group,,

Terry Benton, Principal, Strathmore Real Estate Group,,

Sarah Keever, Lead Site and Land Use Consultant, Northview 22 LLC,,

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