Alpena receives 4-star rating by eCities

ALPENA – Last year Alpena earned a three star rating in the University of Michigan- Dearborn’s iLabs’ eCities research for its work in fostering economic and entrepreeurial development. This year the city is being recognized as a four-star community.

Research is done on 120 communities by eCities, which rates them on a variety of economic and development indicators and the city, which works closely with Target Alpena, did enough locally to move on one star. City Manager Greg Sundin said he is pleased the level has increased because there has been a lot of work done locally to make the city more business and job friendly.

“It is an honor and I hope it will benefit us,” Sundin said. “Maybe if people see this they may consider doing some sort of development. But really I don’t know how much of an impact it will have for us.”

Sundin said the city and Target Alpena are not content to remain a four-star designations and thinks if everyone involved in economic development continue to work together maybe another level can be achieved.

“We know there is always more work that can be done, whether we are three, four or five stars,” Sundin said. “We have moved up and we are getting a certificate, but we still want to get to a five. I don’t know if that is possible right now, but maybe with Meijer coming in and if a few of the other development projects happen we can get there.”

Other communities that were rated four stars include Ann Arbor, Frankenmuth, Holland, Mason, Grand Rapids and Novi. Five star communities include Auburn Hills, Dearborn, Midland, Sault Ste. Marie, Marine City and Farmington Hills.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at