Plans for Old Irish Mill development taking shape in Brooklyn


BROOKLYN, Mich. (WLNS) — A major development is coming to an area long-forgotten by tourists.

The Old Irish Mill project in Brooklyn is gaining traction after years of development.

6 News got a behind the scenes look at the new attraction underway in the Irish Hills.

It will be located inside a former Ford factory that’s been empty since the late 1980s.

Once it’s complete, the development will be a slice of Ireland in rural Michigan.

“It seems like everywhere I turn, someone is asking when it’s going to happen,” said developer Dan Ross.

The Old Irish Mill, a mixed-use building full of Irish-themed businesses, is the vision of Dan and Samantha Ross

On the first floor, the couple from Jackson County wants to put in an Irish pub, restaurant and event space.

“Downstairs we’re going to have a market area, with four or five larger tenants. The microbrew will be downstairs, we have Duffy’s Irish Import Store, an ice cream shop, demonstration kitchen, an Irish bakery,” Ross said.

There will also be a health food restaurant run by Samantha Ross on the lower level.

Outside, plans call for a farmers market, and an ice skating rink, along with facilities to rent canoes, kayaks and bicycles.

The Irish Hills area used to be a big draw for tourists.

So developers are hoping to bring some prestige back to the region.

The building is cleared out, ready for lads and lasses of all walks of life.

They just need to secure more financing.

“We have about five or six financial institutions that are interested that have approached me about possibly financing this project for us,” Ross said.

It’s a big undertaking, but Ross is confident the area will show its Irish pride.

“They need something like this. And more importantly, they really want it. We’ve heard a lot of positive words, a lot of encouragement,” Ross said.

The Old Irish Mill hopes to start churning sometime in 2018.

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