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Robbins Road redevelopment

Alex Doty • Nov 16, 2017 at 10:00 AM

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — Big changes may be on the way for a swath of land along Robbins Road between 172nd Avenue and Whittaker Way.

The Robbins Road Redevelopment group has submitted a planned unit development (PUD) application to the township for review — which, if approved, would bring a new development called Robbins Road Centre Pointe to the 7-acre parcel.

The new development would encompass the properties located between the D&W gas station and the Love in Action retail store, and behind the new Health Pointe development.

“We plan to build a strip that will parallel Robbins Road,” said Bill Bowling, who is a part of the development team and ownership group behind the project. 

The new space would include a single, consolidated entrance off Robbins Road, as well as a new entrance off 172nd, and an internal connection to Whittaker Way.

“We are buying the Pizza Hut, and we’ll put them into the strip,” Bowling noted. “We have two (current) tenants that we’re working on a way to have them stay.”

Bowling noted that the development group has owned the properties for about 15 months, and said the tenants there are great, but the current layout doesn’t mesh with the group’s vision for the site.

He noted that they also tried unsuccessfully to work out a purchase agreement with Love in Action to buy the retail store on Robbins.

“We couldn’t make the numbers work,” Bowling said.

Township Community Development Manager Stacey Fedewa noted that, based on the developers’ submittals to the township, the development will initially focus on the first of four new buildings on the parcel, with the Pizza Hut being relocated to the west end of a new retail building along Robbins.

Bowling said they have a national tenant that they’re awaiting an answer from before beginning the buildout of the rest of the property.

Bowling said the group hopes to make an initial presentation to the township’s Planning Commission as soon as possible.

“The developer is anticipating approvals to be received in the spring of 2018, and will quickly begin razing the entire site in preparation to construct the first multi-tenant retail building near Robbins Road,” Fedewa said. “The first business that will be operational on this site is Pizza Hut.”

Fedewa noted that there is shared enthusiasm between the city and township about the site.

“The township and the City of Grand Haven are thrilled to work with such experienced developers that are enabling us to achieve the goals of the Joint Robbins Road Corridor Plan that will revitalize the shared entrance to our community,” she said.

Fedewa also noted that the township has met with the local Chamber of Commerce, which is working with businesses in the area that may need to relocate as part of the redevelopment.

Chamber of Commerce Director of Community & Economic Development Dana Kollewehr said the chamber is just beginning to reach out to businesses in order to identify potential spaces to relocate in and around the community.

In addition to the land in the township, the development includes two parcels that are considered to be in the city on the south side of Robbins Road.

Township Manager Bill Cargo noted at a recent Township Board work session that project developers have requested the city and township consider a Public Act 425 agreement, which would allow the city to conditionally transfer property to the township for a period of not more than 50 years. The township is currently weighing its options regarding the possible agreement and the legal implications that might arise.

Officials note that if an agreement is granted, it would allow for the township’s zoning and Master Plan to be applied to the property; all services such as water, sewer, assessing, tax collection and building code enforcement would be provided by the township, with the exception of police services, which would be provided by the city; the property would remain a joint response area for fire/rescue purposes; the city’s millage rate would be applied to the property and provided to the city, but the township’s millage rate would be subtracted from the total and retained by the township.

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