The 61-acre development slated for 148th Avenue immediately north of the high school will bring 90 homesites and 22 townhomes to the area.
A proposed on-site town center featuring a cafe/coffee shop and day care/learning center is on hold, per the wishes of Township Board members.
Larger, “estate-style” sites will be located on the southern portion of the property with higher-density homes and townhomes on the northern part of the land.
The commercial node, which some board members balked at and determined should be shelved until a future date, would be in the southwest corner of the property.
The site plan includes several neighborhood parks, man-made lakes and a beach area.
Home prices are expected to range from $375,000 to $450,000. Smaller homes and townhomes could fetch $200,000 to $375,000.
All would be built with 2-by-6 studs and other energy-efficient materials such as tankless water heaters, LED lighting, energy-efficient furnaces and windows. The homes will feature front porches and set-back garages for an old-fashioned neighborhood atmosphere.
When Township Trustee Ron Lindquist first saw the site plan, he said it reminded him of his childhood.
“This is very much like the neighborhood I grew up in in the '50s in Massachusetts, where people will have the opportunity to know each other,” he said. “There was a small grocery store, a shoemaker, a barber. The neighborhood we live in now, we don't know most of our neighbors.”
Township Manager Gordon Gallagher said the board will discuss the commercial end of the development when the residential development is 50 percent completed.
“There were some questions at the board level as to whether that was an appropriate place for commercial development,” he said. “Rather than hold up the whole project, they requested we set that aside to be reviewed at a later date. I think that helped the entire project move forward.”
Gallagher said this is the first major residential development project in the township in many years.
“The St. Lazare's project, I think, is about 30 homesites,” he said. “Arcadia is over 100. It just shows that there is a renewed need for new homesites within Spring Lake Township. I think the owner of the development has really worked hard to put together a nice development with mixed housing types. They have what I would call estate-type homes along with townhouses. I think it's a nice mix.”
Gallagher said proximity to the high school is an added bonus.
“I think it will be a benefit for both the schools and the development,” he said. “They've had a lot of interest from a sales perspective.”
Gallagher said the development's popularity mirrors that of the region.
“Northwest Ottawa County is a wonderful place to live,” the township manager said. “People that move into this development will be able to walk to the high school and aquatic center, they'll be able to walk to Orchard Market, ride their bike all the way around Spring Lake, ride into the City of Grand Haven. ... It's just a real connected, nice place to live.”