Grand Landing needs careful consideration

Once again, Grand Haven’s Planning Commission took up discussion of the proposed second phase of development at Grand Landing.
Dec 4, 2013


This came several months after they initially said “no” to a plan by developers that would have brought apartments, retail and restaurant space to the undeveloped portion of the property.

While everyone is excited about the potential for renewed interest out at the site, not everyone on the Planning Commission was as enthusiastic about the scale of what was being proposed, and how it would reflect on the city if it were built.

Given the high visibility of this development, it makes sense to want to take extra care when determining what goes there, as this is a decision that will have a long-lasting effect on the site.

Step forward in time several weeks, and property developers have again unveiled plans for the site. Tweaked from their original scope, the number of apartment units has been lowered, and there is more open space for the community with the possibility of a kayak launch.

These changes were answers to just some of the concerns listed by Planning Commissioners the first time around.

Given the importance this development has to the whole community, we applaud the fact that it seems like both developers and Planning Commissioners are working together to find a solution to make everyone happy.

This is the northern gateway to Grand Haven; the first thing that visitors see as they cross the bridge leading into town. Whatever is put at this site should be a positive reflection of the town and something we can live with for many years to come.

And while developers continue to work with city planners to come up with a solution, we’d encourage developers to continue to seek ways to finish out the first phase of the development.
While it’s nice to see a new coffee shop and real estate firm open in some of the vacant space, it’d be nice to see all of the empty storefronts filled with businesses prior to the start of new construction.

Hopefully, between getting the first phase leased out and setting the stage for a second phase, a successful Grand Landing development can finally come to fruition.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



i like to see more interest in the retail on the ground floor, there many empty store fronts that could be filled, how many apartments are filled, hard to tell from the street level, more retail and apartments really dont make sense right now, i am afraid these units will eventually turn in to projects for the poor, but do need more housing for local residents too

Real estate maven

Do the developers now coming forward have an ownership interest in the existing buildings? If so why do they believe they can sell or lease space when the existing project sits 86% vacant? If not how does it help the city or the project if they are now competing with the old, empty, existing buildings? The PC shouldn't approve anything until the developer can show real demand/signed deals from real users. As I love to say let the market dictate and let's not take a build it and they will come approach and end up with another white elephant at this important intersection.


The planners are really getting stuck doing the developers job. This project is fundementally flawed. You have residential condo's less than 200 feet from a main State artery with 25,000 - 60,000 cars and trucks passing by it daily. I sure don't want to live there and listen to a 15-speed semi grinding through the gears Northbound up that incline to the bridge. Parking and access to the units is flawed, we get an average of 70 inches of snow per year, yet the only parking is on a surface lot, and the residents get to carry there groceries across this slippery lot to an elevator then down a hall to an apartment, not much marketability there. Oh, I forgot the planning commission approved an amendment to provide underground storage to future units. I thought that this was a "Dirty Site" and that the original agreement called for "Capping" the heavy metals from ASP manufacturing, the Road Commission and Weavers junkyard. There's a lawsuit waiting to happen when future residents develop cancers that can be traced back to the underground contamination. The retail parking between the building "sucks", any big box or strip mall developer will tell you that visiability, ease and access to parking are paramount to the success of a development.

The development was destined to fail from the get go. Personally I believe that the "Highest and Best" use of this property is Office/Retail. To allow more residential use would be "Foolhardy".


Jo Jo, are you a carpenter by trade (rhetorical); talk about hitting the nail square on the head...

Real estate maven

Can't say it any better than that Jo Jo and r u kidding. I had no idea about the history of the site. White elephant!!

Say no to new taxes

Apartments are cash cows for developers. High density, easy to construct and the numbers work for bank financing. The rental market is strong right now with so many people losing their homes to foreclosure. Rents are at all time highs and if you can't fill them, the government is always happy to supply you with an endless stream of section eight tenants. The downside is to the surrounding area that has to put up with the increased traffic and resulting congestion that results from having to many people in to small of a space. Local schools will see an immediate increase in enrollment, public safety responsible for a whole new neighborhood to patrol. All of this while the project delivers little in new tax revenue. This project has failed once already, failing a second time is a serious black eye on the entire community who will be stuck with the aftermath for years to come.


Infrastructure? Are we, the tax payers, going to be footing the bill on phase 2 as well? With the units (commercial and residential) sitting largely empty, why are they even contemplating a phase 2 at this time? How about a new plan to finish off the development, involving something other than more empty stores, and more empty residential units? Something smells rotten.


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