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Buildings demolished in downtown Manistee as part of the Gateway project

MANISTEE – Immediately after a low rumble, a large cloud of dust billowed over River Street on Thursday morning as part of the old Cadillac Plumbing Heating & Electric building was ripped out.

This is one of the most visible early stages of the Spirt of the Woods Gateway project.

The project will be carried out in phases with a 100-room hotel planned for phase 1; the second phase could include housing and offices – but no official plan had been announced in April.

The project was first presented to Manistee City Council in September 2020 and has seen several changes to plans since then. The complexity of the project requires that it be developed in several phases, according to Marc Miller, director of economic development for the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce.

The main developer of the project is Little River Holdings, the economic development arm of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.

This week, the old gas station – and more recently Memory Lane Detailing – located at the corner of River and Divisions streets was demolished.

On Thursday, a crew from Swidorski Brothers Excavating was working to raze the old Cadillac Plumbing Heating & Electric building.

The project includes plots at 283, 284, 285, 289, 294, 295 and 305 River St. – these buildings housed the former House of Flavors, Cadillac Heating and Plumbing, Memory Lane Detailing, American Cleaners and Edward Jones. They are all scheduled for demolition.

At the end of last year, the project received approximately $1.5 million in grants and loans Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy for site demolition and remediation.

Find more photos of the old Cadillac Plumbing Heating & Electric building being demolished on River Street in a photo gallery on

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