Accepting Proposals

The City of Jonesville (City) and the Jonesville Downtown Development Authority (DDA) are accepting sealed proposals for the “Chicago Street Riverfront Redevelopment.” Proposals will be accepted until such time as the City and DDA have received a proposal that they deem to be most favorable to the interests of the City and DDA.  Proposals will be reviewed beginning on Monday, October 25, 2021.  Proposals will be considered until the City/DDA has entered into a Pre-Development Agreement with a potential developer, or March 1, 2022, whichever occurs sooner. 

To be considered, proposals must meet the requirements of the Request for Proposals.

Click here to view the Request for Proposals.

Please mark sealed envelopes: “Chicago Street Riverfront Redevelopment” on the lower left-hand corner. In addition, if the proposal is to be express mailed, “Proposal Documents Enclosed DO NOT OPEN” must be conspicuously marked on the package. Faxed and emailed proposals will not be considered or accepted.

Proposals shall be submitted to:

Jeff Gray, City Manager
City of Jonesville
116 W. Chicago Street
Jonesville, MI 49250

The City and DDA reserve the right to reject any or all proposals, to waive any informality in the proposal received, and to accept any proposal or part thereof, which it shall deem to be most favorable to the interests of the City and DDA.

Open House - October 6th

The City of Jonesville and the Jonesville Downtown Development Authority are inviting you to an open house on Wednesday, October 6th between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at the former Klein Tool building located at the corner of Chicago Street and Water Street. 

The City and DDA are entertaining proposals for reuse or redevelopment of this Downtown Riverfront property.  You can find details about the Request for Proposals and information about the building elsewhere on this page.

The property presents a unique development opportunity.  The property has frontage on the St. Joseph River.  It also fronts Chicago Street (US-12), which had an average of 11,866 vehicles travelling past the site every day in 2020.

The building is a 68,500 square foot former factory.  The original building was built in 1945, with several additions over the years.  It was occupied by Vaco products from 1945 until 1986 and by Klein Tools from 1986 until 2008.  Both companies manufactured hand tools.  The City and the DDA purchased the building in 2010.

There is extensive data on the website regarding environmental conditions on the property, including a Due Care Compliance Plan that was completed in 2019 through a grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).  The Plan includes additional subsurface tests, as well as indoor air sample results.  The City has previously worked closely with EGLE staff for environmental evaluations; EGLE has advised that they will consider grant and loan proposals for qualifying developments.

We hope that you can join us on the 6th between 4:00 and 6:00.  If you know of others that might be interested in the open house and this redevelopment opportunity, please feel free to pass this information along to them.

Please Note: Visitors to the building will encounter conditions typical of a former factory.  All are required to sign a Release of Liability prior to entry.

Important Dates

The anticipated timeline for the selection process is outlined, as follows:

  • September 17, 2021 – RFP Issued
  • October 6, 2021 – Building open house, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., 121 Water Street
  • October 15, 2021 – Written questions/requests for clarification due by 12:00 p.m.: email to
  • October, 20, 2021 – Responses to written inquires posted below
  • October 25, 2021 – Review Committee will begin reviewing proposals, as they are received


All questions and requests for clarification about the Request for Proposals must be submitted in writing via email to  Answers to questions received on or before noon on Friday, October 15th will be posted in this section of the website by the close of business on Monday, October 20th.

Development Opportunity

The 68,500 square foot former tool factory has frontage on (US-12) and the St. Joseph River.  

Located at the intersection of US-12 and M-99, the City of Jonesville is positioned within an hour drive from several cities in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.  This unique position has helped 

Downtown Jonesville to gain a reputation as a destination for food and arts.  Our restaurants are widely known, with Jonesville often recognized as a top small town for food.  We boast an active and vibrant community theater.  There are many service and retail offerings, as well.  Andrew Mack and Sons Brush Company, Jonesville Lumber, and Powers Clothing – the nation’s oldest Carhartt retailer – are all centennial businesses in the Downtown.

 The DDA is active in Downtown maintenance, having upgraded the streetscape and investing in several public parking improvements.  The City takes great pride in its efforts to maintain and improve its streets and other public infrastructure.

Traffic counts taken in 2020 put the Average Daily Traffic (ADT) on US-12/Chicago Street in the vicinity of the site at 11,866 vehicles per day.

Site Description

The Jonesville DDA and the City of Jonesville collectively own three parcels in the Downtown.  The primary parcel includes a vacant 68,500 square foot former manufacturing building, depicted as Parcel I, below.  Parcel II is a small parcel, formerly used for parking.  Parcel IV was acquired by the DDA and City in anticipation that additional parking would be needed to accommodate the redevelopment.

Parcel III was privately sold and is not owned by the City/DDA.

The property was acquired by the DDA and City in 2010.  Previously, the structure on Parcel I was operated from 1945 until 1986 by Vaco Products, a manufacturer of metal hand tools.  Klein Tools purchased the building in 1986 and continued to manufacture metal hand tools until approximately 2008.  

Public Input

As part of the development of the 2019 Master Plan, the City sought community input regarding the redevelopment of the property.  Survey respondents gave their thoughts on potential uses for the building.  Later, participants at a community open house called "Framing Jonesville's Future" heard survey results and made redevelopment of the property a top priority.  The survey and meeting results are summarized below.  You can find more information about the City's Master Plan here. 

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