Development proposed for Stanco site

Becky Vargo • Mar 13, 2018 at 8:00 AM

It’s been 27 years since a factory operated at the former Stanco Metal Products site off Jackson Street near downtown Grand Haven.

The long-vacant site, across the street from the Chinook Pier and Farmers Market, could soon become a development that includes a boutique hotel, apartments and condominiums.

A tentative site plan was revealed to more than 100 people attending an open house at the Grand Haven Community Center on Monday. The developers said they hope to have the first phase of the project open in the spring of 2019.

The property bordered by Jackson Street and Fulton Avenue to the north and south, and between First and Second streets to the east and west, belongs to Jerry and Linda Slagel. The Slagels have partnered with Rivercaddis Development of East Lansing to co-develop the site, said Rivercaddis President Kevin McGraw.

Potentially, a four-story hotel at the corner of Jackson and Second streets, a three-story apartment building at the corner of Fulton and Second, as well as an “amenity” building on Jackson, next to the hotel, would be the first phase of the project. The amenity building would include a fitness facility and a community kitchen that would be used only by the residents.

Next to the amenity building would be an open area, which could have vendors in the summer and possibly a beer garden, and could be an ice skating rink for the public in the winter, McGraw said.

A five-story apartment building on Second Street, between Fulton and what is now Elliott Street, would be the second phase.

The condominiums would be built last, but the development could change based on market needs, McGraw said.

The developers are working with the local Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Economic Development Corp., Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Housing First in an effort to construct more affordable housing in the area.

Although the developers plan to file a rezoning request and site plan application by Wednesday, McGraw said Monday’s open house was held so they could get more input from the public on what they would like to see in the area.

Grand Haven Township resident Laird Schaefer said he attended the meeting out of curiosity.

“I’ve been here for 35 years and I wondered what was going to be done with the Stanco property,” he said. “If it is in the boundaries of the (city’s) Zoning Ordinance, then that’s good enough.” 

Odd Side Ales taproom manager Reid Warber said he also came to see what developers had in mind.

“It would be really nice if we could work in collaboration,” he said, noting that he had heard rumors of the possible beer garden. “It’s a great spot. It was only a matter of time.”

Shannon Linton, director of client services for the Vis Realty Group, part of @HomeRealty, said she was “info grabbing for her company.” Linton said she thinks the development is a good thing because the housing market is so tight right now in certain price ranges. 

Linton said she would like to see the developers work with some local real estate agents to see what the area really needs.

McGraw said they have a very tight timeline if they hope to get some construction completed by spring 2019.

“It’s a bit of a rush,” he said, noting that the rush is because construction costs are so high and rising.

Once the necessary approvals are obtained, the long building on the property will be demolished, buried foundations of other buildings will be removed and the site cleaned up, McGraw said. There’s “pretty good” contamination on the property, he said.

Concerns about extra traffic and parking were also addressed during the open house. McGraw said that would all be discussed and negotiated in future meetings. 

Grand Haven Mayor Geri McCaleb said she was glad so many people were asking questions.

“I’m gratified to see all the interest in this,” she said.

Stanco Metals history

Warren Stansberry founded Peerless Novelty in 1917. The fourth-generation, family-owned manufacturing company produced components for the sewing industry.

The company changed its name to Stanco Metal Products in 1977, and relocated from downtown Grand Haven to its current location west of Grand Haven’s airport in 1991. 

Stanco has since opened plants in Williamston, South Carolina; and Santa Teresa, New Mexico. The company now provides a full range of metal fabrication and support services, including stamping, forming, welding, drilling, riveting, assembly, power coating and packaging. 

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