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Purchase of M-104 'gateway' property approved

Marie Havenga • Dec 18, 2018 at 8:00 AM

SPRING LAKE TWP. – Spring Lake Township Board members aren't suddenly interested in running a car repair business, but on a 5-2 vote, they approved purchasing the Cleveland Street Auto Repair property at 14747 Cleveland Avenue and the house immediately to the west of it.

The proposed purchase price is $290,000, although negotiations are ongoing.

The properties are adjacent to the Corner Store at the northeast corner of 148th Avenue and M-104.

Spring Lake Township Manager Gordon Gallagher said because the property is for sale, it's the perfect opportunity to gain control of it for future M-104 corridor planning.

“We've been looking at that intersection and doing some studying of it,” Gallagher said. “I think we will continue to do this in the next 3 to 5 years. It was on the market, so it represented an opportunity that was available.”

Gallagher said acquiring the property could help with such things as closing curb cuts.

“One of the things we've talked about is access management,” Gallagher said. “If you're out there, you'll notice there are, I think, three drive approaches in that area. One of the things we're trying to limit is those kinds of drive approaches on M-104, and, specifically, along that intersection.”

Gallagher said not only could purchasing the property assist with curb cuts, it could also take care of the issue of the “non-conforming” house that exists on the site. The property is zoned commercial, thus, the residential home should not exist there.

“It will allow us to remedy that situation in a way that is not regulatory or punitive,” Gallagher said.

Property owner John Wisniewski suggested a purchase price of $290,000, although negotiations are ongoing, according to Gallagher.

Gallagher said if the purchase comes to fruition, the township would likely raze the house, which was once owned and occupied by former Spring Lake Township Board member Norma Cook, when she and her husband, Phil, operated Cookie's Corner party store at the northeast corner of M-104 and 148th Avenue and “Dr. Phil's Auto Clinic” immediately to the east of their home.

Gallagher said the purchase would be made with the future in mind.

“From an access management and a corridor improvement and intersection improvement standpoint, it gives the township a lot of options over the next couple of years as we continue to have discussions on how to improve that corridor,” Gallagher said.

The purchase would be made from the township's general fund, according to Gallagher.

Township Supervisor John Nash and trustee Rachel Terpstra voted “no” on the potential purchase.

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