Grand anticipation

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:04 PM

However, the new owner will have to meet some city requirements before they put a shovel into the ground.

“It’s largely consistent with the original (development) plan, but there are enough changes that it’s going to have to go through a preliminary development plan amendment,” McGinnis said.

The Grand Haven Brownfield Redevelopment Authority recently took a first look at a draft amendment to an agreement between the city and developer Red Star Shores LLC of East Lansing, which purchased Grand Landing from receivership last year for about $3 million.

Based on the plan, which officials stress is very preliminary and subject to change, the new developers would:

— complete the sale or lease of the already built condominium and retail units,

— build a hotel,

— construct two or more restaurants,

— and build as many as 300 apartments.

“City Council might consider the item at their next meeting on Monday if the developer has agreed to final language in the document,” City Finance Director Jim Bonamy said.

Bonamy said the document could change significantly after the developer and City Council discuss it.

Prior to breaking new ground, the developer will have to go before the city's Planning Commission and City Council to get their preliminary development plan revised. Representatives for the developer will be at the Planning Commission meeting on Feb. 12 to begin the revision process.

Bonamy said once the development gets going again, the payoff will be good for the city’s residents.

“It means that the redevelopment will cause more private investment on the property over time, a higher and better use of the property than at present, and a reduced reliance — again, over time — on taxation to pay the brownfield bonds off,” he explained.

Prior to being sold to developers in 2005, the 23-acre site was home of blighted property and contaminated land. The site stretches south from the Grand River to Jackson Street, and west from U.S. 31 to the river-crossing railroad tracks.

The property was placed in receivership in November 2010 and sold to Red Star Shores in August.

In November, the Planning Commission approved a site plan for a 3,715-square-foot building for retail space and a drive-through coffee shop.

Joy Gaasch, president of the local Chamber of Commerce, said the latest developments at Grand Landing are encouraging.

"Certainly we are all excited to see redevelopment at the site,” she said. “I think as we move forward, we will see some great things that happen there.”

Gaasch noted that the developers have a track record in the area, owning the Grand Haven Club apartment complex on Lakeshore Drive in Grand Haven Township.

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