Alley in downtown to become a destination hot spot this summer

Organizers are hoping that an alleyway in downtown Alpena will become a hot spot for people to gather this summer.

Downtown businesses would like to use the “Center Alley Plaza,” located next to the Center Building, as a place for dining, sidewalk sales, and “public displays of art, music and joy.”

The alley runs from Second to Third avenues.

Organizers believe the change will lead to more foot traffic in the downtown area and benefit all businesses, primarily restaurants, cafes and retail.

City council this week, approved the project for a trial this summer. It had previously been approved by the Downtown Development Authority. The alley will be used by businesses seven days a week during the trial period, and will be off limits to all vehicular traffic during this time.

If the project is well received, organizers would like to use the alley annually, from the Memorial Day holiday weekend through the Labor Day holiday weekend. That timeline could be expanded in the future. No public parking spots will be lost with the change.