Riverside hiring for new position to help develop vacant properties


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The city of Riverside plans to hire a community development director to oversee economic development, coding and zoning enforcement in the city.

Riverside City Manager Mark Carpenter said that the city has already interviewed one candidate and will interview another on Tuesday. He predicts he will be making an offer to one of those people next week.

Riverside doesn’t currently have a community development director, so this would be a totally new position.

Gary Burkholder, former city manager of Brookville, and Brian Bilger, who is currently a senior business development representative at the Detroit Regional Chamber, are the finalists for the position, according to Carpenter.

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The community development director’s main goals this year would be to get some of the city’s larger vacant properties developed. The city doesn’t own the vacant K-Mart building at 601 Woodman Drive, Carpenter said, but hopes to get it redeveloped.

Some of the other areas the city hopes to see developed are the Center of Flight parcels across the street from the Air Force Museum and the former Smiley’s Driving Range building at 4740 Linden Ave.

“We’re anxious and excited to add someone to our team,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said 14 people applied for the community development position and seven total were interviewed.

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