Community Development


The Renaissance Zone, at the corner of Prosperity Dr. and M-90

The City of Brown City is a progressive community in a rural setting located in the southwest portion of Sanilac County. The City has a population of 1,324 and an area of one square mile. The City is adjacent to Maple Valley Township, which has a population of 1,022 and in Sanilac County, which has a population of 39,928.

The City of Brown City is also easily accessible from all communities in Sanilac County and the "Thumb" area. The principal access to the City is provided by M-90 which travels east to west through the City, also known as Main Street. M-90 also intersects with M-53 about four miles west of the City. M-53 serves as a link to M-46, I-69, and the Detroit Metropolitan Area. Brown City lies approximately 24 miles from the Lake Huron shoreline, 50 miles from Port Huron, 55 miles from Canada, 40 miles from Flint, 65 miles from Saginaw, and 60 miles from Detroit. Also, the City enjoys connection with the rest of the nation by rail.

The City of Brown City is well served through a network of local streets that run northsouth and east-west, providing easy access between all sections of the City.

The City owns and operates water and sewer systems capable of supporting significantly increased development. Ready access to industrial quantity gas and electric supplies, and communications infrastructure, is available.

Manufacturing (35.0%) leads the industrial trade in the City. Professional, Health, Education and Related Services (23.8%), and Wholesale and Retail Trade (16.8%) follow at distant second and third places. These three industries, by far, account for the bulk of employment. Likewise, the Township contains a significantly large proportion of persons employed in Manufacturing (31.1%). The major occupational categories for Brown City workers are operators, fabricators, and laborers (24.1%); precision production, crafts, and repair (21.0%); and service workers (17.0%).

Census data shows that the City has an average household size of 2.67 persons per household, as compared to 3.12 persons per household for Maple Valley Township. 2.72 persons per household for Sanilac County, and 2.72 persons per household in the State.

The City of Brown City is currently enjoying a housing boom with two subdivisions in the final planning stages. Additionally, two manufactured home communities are now available.

The City's strategic plan identifies increased industrial and commercial development as the cornerstone for continued positive growth. The number of employment options within the City remains limited. Attracting new industry, and the increased number of jobs it would bring, would increase the ability of residents, particularly young people, to remain in the City rather than being forced to move elsewhere in search of meaningful employment.

In order to continue the pursuit of our development goals, the City has adopted both a general and specific point of attack. The general approach is highlighted by continued close contact with those organizations involved with business development. These include the Michigan Economic Development Association (MEDA), Sanilac County Community/Economic Development, and Economic Development Consultants such as those associated with Detroit Edison. Further, are informal contacts made when City officials attend professional trade shows, such as that sponsored by the Michigan Municipal League at their annual convention.

Finally, of significant importance to a location decision-maker, are the excellent schools, friendly atmosphere, and low cost of living enjoyed by residents and workers in the Brown City area.

The City of Brown City Industrial Renaissance Zone

The City of Brown City owns approximately seven acres (7) acres, currently within the City limits and zoned for heavy industrial, that is an outstanding location for new industry, and is already designated as a Renaissance sub-zone.

According to Fantus Consulting, "Incentives are only one part of the location decision making process, but their importance is growing, and they are being considered earlier in the equation". The City of Brown City has limited resources to make available as incentives; however, assistance installing water and sewer mains, the possibility of reduced water and sewer rates, and assistance and cooperation with the planning and permitting process, is available to significantly enhance the attractiveness of the City as a building site.

The community has taken considerable effort to build community consensus and arrive at a goal that fits the community and the strong desire for development.

The City of Brown City Renaissance Zone Objectives

The City of Brown City in an effort to proactively enhance the well being of City residents has developed a set of general goals. These goals provide a framework for planning, and implementation is a continuous process tailored to current needs. City goals supported by our Renaissance Zone include:

In order to continue the pursuit of our development goals, the City's approach is highlighted by continued close contact with those organizations involved with business development. These include the Michigan Economic Development Association (MEDA), Sanilac County Community/Economic Development, and Economic Development Consultants such as those associated with Detroit Edison. Further, are informal contacts made when City officials attend professional trade shows, such as that sponsored by the Michigan Municipal League at their annual convention.

The above benefits remain true regardless of the industry that elects to join the Brown City family. However, while transportation, raw material and employee availability are critical to deciding where to locate, we understand that assistance in the establishment of a new facility is crucial.

Increase economic opportunity and expansion

The City's strategic plan identifies increased industrial and commercial development as the cornerstone for continued positive growth. The number of employment options within the City remains limited. Attracting new industry, and the increased number of jobs it would bring, would increase the ability of residents, particularly young people, to remain in the City rather than being forced to move elsewhere in search of meaningful employment.

Facilitate Infrastructure

The site selected for development was carefully reviewed as part of the process for creating a Master Plan for City development. The site is located on the east side of the City at the juncture of two Class A roads (Maple Valley Road and M-90) and near the railroad line. Utilities, (electric, gas, sewer, and water) are readily available, and the area is well drained. Prevailing winds blow toward the east.

Address Physical Needs of the Zone

Brown City Renaissance Zone
8956 Burnsline Road
Brown City, MI 48416

For additional information, please contact the City Manager at (810) 346-2325 or browncty@greatlakes.net.