BLP, city discuss Grand Landing

While city officials await more development at Grand Landing, another development is unfolding between the Board of Light & Power and City Council regarding the costs of utility construction at the site.
Alex Doty
Jan 18, 2014

“What’s going on is that, back in 2006 when life was rosy and no one expected an economic downturn, there was an agreement between the developer, the city, BLP and the (city's) brownfield authority,” Bonamy said. “When you go back to the mindset of 2006, nobody had an inkling there’d be an economic crisis like we had.”

This agreement laid out the need to provide changes at the Grand Landing property, one of which is electric system upgrades and power line burial — totaling about $1.9 million in work, Bonamy said. It would be paid for with funds from the Grand Landing bond.

“Over time, (the BLP) would reimburse the Grand Landing bond on the basis of what’s called net power revenue,” Bonamy explained. “We’re asking for a portion of that be returned to pay off these items.”

The payments would be remitted to the city as a result of payments made by electric power users on the site to the BLP, pursuant to the 2006 agreement.

“At the time (in 2006), we were told by Grand Landing they’d have everything up and running in five years,” Bonamy said.

This wasn’t the case, however, as the economy tanked, development stopped and the property ended up in receivership.

New developers purchased Grand Landing in 2012 for about $3 million.

The agreement with the BLP ended last month, yet there is more money that needs to be paid toward the bond for the utility improvements.

“The Board of Light & Power has produced $601,000, which has been repaid and used for Grand Landing payments," Bonamy said. "There’s still $1.2 million of costs still there. There is one more payment for that and then it is closed."

As of now, all sides are trying to come up with a solution that everyone can agree on — especially, BLP Chairman Jack Smant said, when there are some capital projects being eyed in the near future for the municipal utility.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


Say no to new taxes

An endless money pit, did the city learn anything from this expensive lesson on new development?


The statement "nobody had an inkling there'd be an economic crisis like we had" is entirely false. If you look at the macroeconomic data leading up to the correction it was as predictable as the sun rising. Many economists and savy policy makers where warning of what was going to happen. Americans as a unit were running up credit card debt at historic levels. Americans and the sleesy bankers were borrowing and loaning up to 120% of home equity value. The stock market was overvalued. We as nation were importing far far more than we exported and the numbers were running out of controll. We had a political machine in washington that catered to the interest of the large corporations, greed run wild. Homeowners were planning on 2 incomes without a plan for what if one got laidoff . The correction was inevitable, I hope we all learned something. History shows we have very short memories.


Yep, and it is going to happen again if people keep living the consumption/instant gratification lifestyle and living beyond their means.

If you 'need' something so badly, save up and buy it with cash.


What a dumpster fire!


“What’s going on is that, back in 2006 when life was rosy and no one expected an economic downturn, there was an agreement between the developer, the city, BLP and the (city's) brownfield authority,” Bonamy said. “When you go back to the mindset of 2006, nobody had an inkling there’d be an economic crisis like we had.”

This is absolutely incorrect. In 2006, there were many voices of authority warning of a serious recession, and that successfully foretold an impending financial meltdown. All throughout the year, the warning signs were heating up, and any government official or developer worth their salt could have availed themselves of pertinent information that could have averted some of the mess Grand Haven, and many other governing bodies found themselves in as 2006 played out.

By the end of 2006, the Great Recession had begun, with the subsequent stock market crash, near global financial melt-down, the bursting of the housing bubble, and the bankruptcies and closings of hundreds of businesses - including many of the giants in the financial industry who fought the hardest against proposed regulations to avert disaster.

As they say to those who break the law because they had no clue it was law - ignorance is no excuse.


Lanivan is correct...all the signs were there and those that actually know were sounding the alarm but people simply don't want to hear it, I'll never forget two or three days before the housing bubble burst the overseer Barney Frank said Fanny and Freddie were still great investments...I guess it was a blessing in disguise I didn't have any money to invest

Barry Soetoro

She doesn't need you to tell her that! : )


I just shared her opinion that all of the economic woes were indeed foretold and we under listened.
To your point though, none of us "need" this at all…we simply enjoy coming to a community cyber coffee shop and blabbing opinions which in the grand scheme of things matter not, but if we can occasionally lift each other up by asserting we all bear a burden and sometimes a common one that, may actually matter.


The currently empty lot should be turned into green space/a nice park. Plant some trees, build some sidewalks and a nice attraction that is a central focus and be done with it.

They cannot fill the storefronts or condos they have, but insist on building more. The 'build it and they will come' mentality works in some cases, but does not typically work with horribly generic and overpriced commercial buildings.


That was my plan, remember, along with a bike path to try and keep you away from cars.


Yep. I know I remember someone mentioning the idea, just couldn't remember who. I really think the City needs to get onboard with this.


That would certainly be a much more inviting gateway (their word) to people coming in to Grand Haven from the North, than an overbuilt housing development that will look like a low income housing slum once they try to pile 200 houses in that tiny space.

I would definitely agree that a green space (Park, boardwalk) would be a better use of the space, but the problem is, nobody is going to make any money off of green space and at this point it's all about making back some of the cash lost on this boondoggle.

I'll ask again, what person with money would want to live that close to a highway and listen to traffic 24/7. Not to mention live in the middle of a supposed shopping center? You can look just about anywhere in this country and the slums are always next to the highway.....why do we want to develop a slum?


The funny thing is that no one is making money off of the debacle that they call Grand Landing either. I would like to see how much money has been lost or made in total with the whole project.

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