He and his team are converting the abandoned Belanger building, on Cady Street near the Tipping Pointe Theatre, into a communal workspace called the Village Workshop.
These spaces, like TechShop in Allen Park, are gaining popularity across the country. Workshop members can turn their ideas into inventions with daily access to tools, software and supplies. Engerer and his partners, Chris McDonald and Brian Donovan, are turning this concept into a concrete reality for Northville.
"It's the chance to make their fame and fortune. Everyone should have the right to do it," Engerer said.
Engerer, a physical therapist, started his own business, Northville Physical Rehabilitation, about 29 years ago.
"I've always liked the idea of being in business on your own," he said.
In addition to appreciating the entrepreneurial spirit behind the Village Workshop, he said he also loves seeing people seek out their dreams.
Workshop supporters see Northville as future creative hubEngerer said the project's supporters, like city officials and the DDA, are looking forward to what the Village Workshop can do for the city.
"I think Northville is a great place to live and work," he said.
Engerer renovates old buildings, like his office building downtown, to improve the city, he said. The Belanger building, a property that could use some TLC, is a perfect project for him.
The 24,000 square foot building, currently in a state of disrepair, was the home of Belanger, Inc., a world leader in car wash manufacturing. As the Village Workshop, it will house an expansive manufacturing space and offices for small businesses.
"We have a 100-year-old building," Donovan said. "We really want to bring it back to life."
He said the space will attract many including artists, engineers and families who want to build a canoe. There will also be classes on designing and patent law, so members are equipped for success.
"It's happening all over, why can't it happen here?" McDonald said.
Engerer, who said he enjoys working with machines and often repairs the ones in his office, plans to spend a lot of time in the workshop once it's complete.
The next step, he said, is to close the deal on purchasing the building from the Belanger family. Next, the city's planning and historic commissions will review the site plans. Then, renovations will start in the next few weeks, he said.
While the project won't be complete at least until next year, the Village Workshop is already taking memberships. Find out more online at www.thevillageworkshop.com.