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CHELSEA, MI-Historic buildings will be redeveloped into new office and retail space in an effort being put forward to expand Chelsea’s business district.

The city, located between Jackson and Ann Arbor, is expanding its central business district through a redevelopment project that will center around the city’s landmark Clock Tower.

That parcel is part of a McKinley Associates project to redevelop a series of historic buildings as a Clock Tower complex. Company assistant VP Royal Caswell said the Ann Arbor company plans to invest $10 million in the project over the next several years.

The Clock Tower building – with 25,000 sf of office, business and retail space – is nearly full after one year of restoration.

When completed, the Clock Tower complex would have 190,000 sf of mixed-use space with an internal courtyard, walkways, a water fountain and access driveways off Main, North and East streets, McKinley said.

The plan follows the village’s Planning Commission’s recommendation that blocks of the downtown north of the railroad tracks be designated as a central business district. An area that is roughly bounded by Main and North streets and a block south of Dewey Street will be added to the existing central business district to make rezoning the old Chelsea Industries property in that area from industrial to business uses easier, according to the plan.

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