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New Centertown project to begin soon

Alex Doty • May 11, 2018 at 3:00 PM

Redevelopment of an empty parcel along Washington Avenue in Centertown could begin as soon as next week.

The new building will be located in the space of the former Harbourfront Hobbies & Crafts at 707 Washington Ave., which was demolished in January 2017. Since then, work has been underway by developers to design a new building and obtain the needed approvals from the city.

Lisa Passinault, owner of the adjacent Morning Star Cafe and the to-be-developed property, said they plan to have construction fencing up next week, with work beginning soon afterward. She hopes to have the building up by fall.

“As soon as I see a big dump truck over there and construction fence, then I will be excited,” she said.

According to the plans submitted to the city, the proposed building will include 1,450 square feet of commercial space on its first floor and two residential units on the second floor. 

“We’re going to have a couple of condos on top, and we’re going to have another kitchen we’re going to use for Morning Star,” Passinault said.

They’re still working out what will be in the lower level fronting Washington. Passinault said that, to start things off, they might host private gatherings and cooking classes.

“Right now, we’re trying to get it built, and then go from there,” she said.

Earlier this week, Grand Haven City Council approved a parking exemption request for the development. The city’s Zoning Ordinance gives the council authority to exempt uses and buildings in a special assessment district from providing parking, and the subject property is within a parking assessment district.

Based on the development plans, four parking spaces will be provided behind the building to meet parking requirements for the residential units. According to the city’s ordinances, the retail use requires 10 spaces, while an eating and drinking establishment would require 25 spaces — one for every three occupants.

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