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Jump to Village Project:

When surveying residents to create Cascade’s Strategic Plan, adopted September 2022, resident’s top priority was ‘Creating a Downtown Village’ and their second greatest concern was the ‘Lack of a Village Area’.  Cascade’s Township Board quickly took action to begin purchasing land, collaborating with local business owners, and establishing a vision to ‘reimagine’ the heart of Cascade. 

With an overall goal of preserving Cascade’s unique character and enhancing the quality of residents' lives, the plan to reimagine the area around Cascade Road and 28th Street, extending to the Thornapple River, quickly blossomed into many simultaneous projects.  Now in the design phase, this venture to reinvigorate the area, creating a more walkable village with an idyllic, small-town ambiance, has begun. 

The Township’s Downtown Development Authority is playing a large part in the redevelopment, establishing financial incentives for businesses to improve existing building facades, and funding a majority of the Township’s portion of this undertaking.  The Township Board continues to prioritize public safety and preserve natural spaces and parks while employing pedestrian-friendly and place-making initiatives. 

This page will be updated as different parts of the village project evolve and we encourage you to occasionally check in on our progress.



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Former Tuffy Muffler & Auto Services Site
Location:
6896 Cascade Rd SE
Estimated Completion: 12/31/24
Funding Source: Cascade Downtown Development Authority (DDA) purchase, State Grant to buy out the remainder of property lease.

Given its proximity to the Thornapple River and the village area, the Tuffy site will be restored to highlight the location’s beauty and unique character. Converting this corner lot to public use space adjacent to the current parkland will also make traversing this busy intersection a bit safer for bikers and pedestrians. This site, along with Tassel Park improvements and the former Dr’s Office site, will be part of an overall public use concept to be considered later in 2024.

Latest Update: Plans are progressing to tear down the Tuffy building and replace it with a public space.  Cascade would like to thank Tuffy owner Jay Farlin, store manager Bobby Ihm, and their employees for their excellent service to countless residents over the past 27 years at that location. (12/14/23)

 

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Cascade Road Pedestrian Bridge
Location:
The bridge on Cascade Road over the Thornapple River
Estimated Completion: Late Summer/Early Fall 2024
Funding Source: State ARPA and Cascade Downtown Development Authority (DDA)

Cascade Township Staff are working with the Kent County Road Commission and MDOT to complete construction plans for a pedestrian walkway on the Cascade Road bridge over the Thornapple River.  Enhancements will occur on both sides of the bridge and include a physical barrier to separate the pedestrian lane from traffic, widening of the path, a higher outer railing, and year-round lighting.  This long-overdue project is an important step toward creating a safer and more walkable “village” area.

Latest Update: Collaboration is ongoing with Spalding DeDecker to finalize details on pedestrian improvements and the project is intended to go to bid this spring, for a late summer construction date. (4/3/24)

 


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Cascade Village Concept
Location:
Cascade’s B-1 Village District and strategic B-2 sites
Estimated Completion: 2025
Funding Source: Cascade Downtown Development Authority (DDA)

The Cascade Township Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has partnered with OHM to create a plan and implementation strategy for the Downtown Development Authority/Cascade Road Corridor with emphasis on the “village” area.  This will provide Cascade with the tools needed to make future decisions that will be critical in developing/redeveloping Cascade’s Downtown Village. OHM will be preparing a series of planning diagrams, explanations, and an analysis of the corridor to present to Township staff and the DDA. They will provide a general understanding of the issues related to underutilized property, connectivity, multi-modal transportation, land use, site design, amenities, and the regulatory framework. The concepts will include recommendations for riverfront development, public space, public-private partnerships, mixed-use redevelopment, parking, amenities, land use, access, roadway/streetscape configuration, and other elements as identified in the process. These highly illustrative concepts will clearly outline potential options in order to frame discussions around a preferred development/redevelopment and land use/development strategy for the study area.

 



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Former Doctor’s Office
Location:
2894 Thornapple River Dr SE
Estimated Completion: TBD
Funding Source: TBD

Cascade Township Staff and the DDA are working with OHM to develop a property plan to fit into the larger Village Reimagination. This site, along with the Tuffy site and Tassel Park improvements, will be part of an overall public use concept to be considered later in 2024.
 
 

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Cascade Village Zoning
Location:
Cascade’s B-1 Village District and strategic B-2 sites
Estimated Completion: 2025
Funding Source: Cascade Downtown Development Authority (DDA)

As part of the Master Plan process that the Township is currently undertaking there is a need to update the zoning throughout the township and the DDA/Village will be one of the most complex. This area will see a major zoning amendment that will support the long-term goal for Cascade’s Village. This initiative is not only part of the 2024 Master Plan update but is one of the top 5 items that came out of the 2022 Strategic Plan that received great feedback from the community.

 

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Stone House
Location:
2781 Orange Ave
Estimated Completion: TBD
Funding Source: TBD

Cascade Township is in the process of purchasing this parcel. It is currently being surveyed and an environmental study is also being completed before closing occurs in May.  Cascade Township Staff and the DDA are working with OHM to develop a property plan to fit into the larger Village Reimagination.
 
 

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Virgil Nishimura Westdale Memorial Park
Location:
2839 Thornapple River Dr SE
Estimated Completion: 2024
Funding Source: TBD

The Kent County Garden Club has partnered with the Township on Virgil Nishimura Westdale Memorial Park.  The park will be one of their 2024 community projects.  They plan to remove much of the hardscape and replace it with period appropriate plantings, so that the park matches the time period of the historical museum.  This site will also be included in a larger scale conceptual plan for the Village that is set be completed later in 2024.