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deja vu Feb 24, 2018 3:50 PM

WEST MICHIGAN | General Developments
OK. We'll try this, and see where it goes.

For some time I've been contemplating the need for a separate West Michigan Development thread, that could cover everything on the west side of our Great lakes State outside of the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo metro areas. The strong economy on the west side of the state has led to some mini-booms in several of our 'other west-coast' cities, with some exciting projects worth recognition. Depending on the success of this, I could see there being a separate thread for parts north of here, like a 'Grand Traverse Bay Area' general development thread. Therefore, this thread shall be initially targeted at all significant developments in West Michigan (outside of GR and Kzoo), from the Indiana / Michigan state line up to Muskegon, and maybe further if folks are interested.

I will plan on building the project rundown as more information is added for specific cities and projects. As a general start, the focus will start with these places:

Benton Harbor / St. Joseph - Population +/- 18,300
Source: US Army Corp of Engineers

Grand Haven - Population +/-11,000
Source: @HomeRealty-West Michigan

Holland - Population +/- 33,500
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Great Lakes Fisherman's Digest

Muskegon - Population +/- 38,500
Source: Flickr | Jeff S. PhotoArt

New Buffalo - Population +/- 1,900
Source: Marina Grand Resort

Saugatuck - Population +/- 1,000
Source: Reddit

South Haven - Population +/- 4,400
Source: Lake Michigan Towns

Zeeland - Population +/- 5,600
Source: Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 3:54 PM

We'll start with Holland, where a lot of projects are in the works. A new 3-story office building is proposed for downtown Holland at 177 College Ave. for @Home Realty, a growing real estate firm in the area. The design is by GMB Architecture -


New downtown Holland ‘mini Google’ office building planned by local company
Sydney Smith | Holland Sentinel
January 4, 2018

A two-story slide and arcade are planned for a potential new office building in downtown Holland. Proposed by @Home Holdings Holland, LLC, the building is planned for 177 College Ave and will house the local residential real estate brokerage firm and other businesses seeking office space. "We’ve been wanting to get a location closer to downtown and have been looking for quite a while,” said Jake Hogeboom, founder of @Home. “This opportunity came up and was perfect — close to downtown and in the mix of everything...”
Source: Holland Sentinel | Courtesy GMB Architecture

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 4:01 PM

Three new hotels are under construction or in the planning stages in Holland Township -


Staybridge Suites construction to begin soon in Holland Township
Austin Metz | Holland Sentinel
November 12, 2017

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has confirmed plans to build a new 100-room hotel on the south side of James Street, east of West Shore Drive. An IHG spokesperson said the hotel will be located at 12124 James St., east of Dutch Village, and the plan is to break ground in the first quarter of 2018...

Precedent photo of a similar hotel -
Source: Holland Sentinel

Hilton hotel construction underway in Holland Township
Austin Metx | Holland Sentinel
November 8, 2018

Construction is now underway on the new Home2Suites by Hilton in Holland Township. The new hotel will be located at 2990 West Shore Dr., south of Riley Street off of U.S.-31 and is expected to feature 109 suites. So far, the foundation has been laid and construction on the infrastructure is underway as construction workers begin to erect the building...Due to the delay in the ground breaking, Roman said the opening date has been pushed to Oct. 31, 2018...
Source: Holland Sentinel | Austin Metz / Sentinel Staff

Candlewood Suites coming to Holland Township
Austin Metx | Holland Sentinel
November 17, 2018

In the wake of a recent announcement by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) that they would be building a new 100-room hotel on James Street, the company has released plans to construct another hotel in the same vicinity. According to an IHG spokesperson, the company now has plans to construction a 75-room Candlewood Suites hotel at the intersection of U.S.-31 and James Street, west of U.S.-31 and north of James Street. Similar to the company’s Staybridge Suites, construction on the Candlewood Suites is expected to begin in early 2018 and will be completed at the beginning of 2019. It will also be an extended stay suite format hotel geared to customers on the road for weeks or months at a time...

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 4:15 PM

^ These three new hotels are following in the wake of the Cityflats Hotel, and the 98,600 SF Courtyard by Marriott that opened in downtown Holland a few years ago (Butler Rosenbury & Partners was the Architect). The Marriott added 142 rooms to the region -


Courtyard Marriott downtown Holland to open Thursday
Justine McGuire | Holland Sentinel
February 24, 2016

...The five-story hotel has 140 rooms, two restaurants, a pool and hot tub, open common spaces and a fitness room. Rooms facing south and west have balconies that provide a view of Eighth Street. There are also east-facing balconies...The Marriott is the first nationally branded hotel in downtown Holland...
Source: Butler, Rosenbury & Partners
Source: WZZM

Here is a photo of the Cityflats Hotel, also recently opened -

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 4:40 PM

Holland has also been working on a new, mixed-development that will bring a movie theater downtown. Demolition has begun already, and the project is expected to be completed by Spring 2019. This will be a three-story, $8 million, 42,000+ SF building that will also include restaurants and retail space, at Eighth Street and Pine Avenue. This is across from the police department and district court, right near the Farmer's Market and the Civic Center, which is being remodeled currently. It is intended to better bridge the gap between the downtown retail core and the Civic Center / Macatawa waterfront. The development will also include a new parking deck -


Downtown Holland buildings to be demolished to make way for movie theatre
Sidney Smith | Holland Sentinel
September 12, 2017

A large-scale movie theatre development planned for downtown Holland is moving through various approvals before development begins. Set to be finished in spring 2019, Sperry’s Movie House will make up a large portion of West Eighth Street, part of Geenen DeKock Properties’ and the city’s vision to connect downtown Holland to the farmers market, Civic Center and waterfront. Doug DeKock, co-owner of GDK, said demolition will begin this week for unoccupied buildings west of the Tulip Time offices. The new building will occupy 102 W. Eighth St...
Here's a conceptual rendering - we may be losing the top, fourth floor -
Source: Holland Sentinel (Contributed)

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 4:47 PM

Another big development in Holland - 44 W. Eighth St. - is nearing completion. This 4-story, 45,000 SF building is a mixed-use development featuring ground floor retail, two floors of apartments, and a fourth floor of five condos. This is being built by GDK, the same developer for the Theater project mentioned above -


Construction on downtown Holland apartments, businesses nearing completion
Austin Metz | Holland Sentinel
February 17, 2018

HOLLAND — Construction on a new building on the west end of Eighth Street is nearing completion. The building, located at 44 W. Eighth St. west of Seventy-Six restaurant, will include apartments, condominiums and business space for Tulip Time and a second Canterbury Cottage location. Doug DeKock, co-owner of GDK Construction, said the second and third floors will be the apartment spaces, which should open in April, and the fourth floor will be home to five condominium units...
Source: Holland Sentinel | Austin Metz / Sentinel Staff

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 4:56 PM

The Civic Center in Holland has been undergoing an extensive, $14 million renovation -


Civic Center construction continues, other aspects in the works
Sydney Smith | Holland Sentinel
February 17, 2018

HOLLAND — Holland’s renovated Civic Center will open this fall. “We have some things we absolutely need to accomplish, but we will be ready for that opening day,” said Matt VanDyken, who serves as the city staff member overseeing the project. The building is in the midst of a $14.15 million renovation, and along the way a number of policy decisions need to be made about what the day-to-day operations of the space will look like...
Source: Holland Sentinel | Sydney Smith / Sentinel Photo
Here is a rendering of the front entry -
Source: Holland Sentinel | Courtesy Rendering

Sadly, there was a construction-relate fatality on the jobsite last year, when a prtion of floor being demolished collapsed, causing two workers to fall and one of them to die on the scene -


Workers identified in fatal construction collapse at Holland Civic Center
Amy Biolchini | MLive
August 2, 2017

HOLLAND, MI -- Holland police have identified Ruben Gomez-Vazques, 38, of Grand Rapids, as the worker who died Tuesday after a floor collapsed at the Holland Civic Center construction site. Gomez-Vazques and a co-worker were demolishing a small section of cement floor on the second level of the east side of the building Tuesday, Aug. 1, officials said. Part of the floor collapsed, causing Gomez-Vazques and his co-worker to fall, officials said...

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 5:08 PM

Have to include this one. The Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts on Hope College's campus was completed in 2015. It is a truly beautiful venue, well-detailed with amazing acoustics. And it is a huge contribution to the local arts scene. 64,000 SF, with an 800-seat main auditorium and smaller recital hall along with instructional spaces, rehearsal rooms, and faculty studios. It attained LEED Silver certification. There are some great photos of this project on the College's website. Here' just a few highlights -

Exterior by night -

Main Lobby -

Main Auditorium -
Source: Hope College

Ex-Ithacan Feb 24, 2018 5:34 PM

Wow, I don't know much about Holland, but that's a nice array of projects. Does Holland have many commuters to Grand Rapids? Look forward to more.

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 5:47 PM

Let's jump over to Muskegon, a city that has had its fair share of tough times, but one that is making a serious effort at a renaissance. 'Urban Renewal' was not limited to big cities, and Muskegon followed the model set by bigger municipalities. As a result, the entire downtown was basically obliterated. Starting in the 1950s, much of the city's downtown building stock was demolished and replaced with parking lots. In the 1960s, a suburban-style mall took the place of Western venue, in an ill-fated, cringe-worthy attempt to attract shoppers downtown. The economy continued to falter and downtown suffered severe blows that were hard to overcome for decades. That mall has since been demolished, and the city has reinstated the historic, pedestrian-oriented street grid, which has helped encourage new interest in developing downtown. This article from the Institute for Quality Communities, out of the University of Oklahoma, does a good brief summary of the changes, and has some shocking before / after comparison photos with a slide bar (brace yourself) -

Downtown Aerial View - 1953 - Note the dense urban fabric, few surface lots -

Downtown - Same Aerial View, but in 1968 - Notice the extensive surface lots and loss of historic blocks -

Aerial View - 2002 - The suburban-style Muskegon Mall has caused even further degradation of downtown core, killing more local businesses and bringing more surface lots -

Downtown Aerial View - 2013 - With the mall fully-demolished in the early 2000's and the street grid reconstructed, new developments are seen occurring -

It's not all sunshine and flowers, of course,! What progress has been made is incredible and commendable and there is so much more in the works. A recent rough estimate shows that about $1 billion is currently being invested in the city. There is a demand for new housing downtown that hasn't existed since the 1950s, and businesses are either returning to downtown or opening there for the first time.

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 6:05 PM

Nearly 200 residential units are currently under development in Muskegon's downtown core, and one of the biggest projects happening in Muskegon right now is Highpoint Flats, consisting of 47 market rate apartments in a remodeled tower - the former Hackley Union National Bank building, a.k.a. "Muskegon's first skyscraper." Built in 1918, it somehow managed to survive the urban renewal process and now, after years of delay, has new life as a prime downtown living spot. Construction on this $9 million project began late last Spring and is expected to wrap up around May of this year. Still Muskegon's tallest, the tower features a rooftop deck and clubhouse, and a ground floor fitness center. All of the units have a view of Muskegon Lake. The first two floors have up to 10,000 SF available for commercial / retail tenants. The leasing office is open, a model unit available for tours, and demand is high -


Highpoint Flats apartments downtown Muskegon going fast
Justine McGuire | MLive
February 11, 2018

MUSKEGON, MI - One week after its leasing office opened, Highpoint Flats downtown Muskegon has 36 apartments left. So far, 11 of the 47 market-rate apartments are reserved, said Jon Rooks, of Parkland Properties. Construction on the $7-million project commenced during May 2017, and will finish by May 1, 2018, with move-ins starting June 1. "There's never been a place like this to live in Muskegon," Rooks said. "The city is your living room..."

Exterior view -

Model Unit - Bedroom -

Model Unit - Kitchen -

Model Unit - Living Room -

Rooftop View of Downtown -
Source: MLive | Joel Bissel

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 6:10 PM


Originally Posted by Ex-Ithacan (Post 8097881)
Wow, I don't know much about Holland, but that's a nice array of projects. Does Holland have many commuters to Grand Rapids? Look forward to more.

There's definitely some commuters, but it is a bit of a hike. From core to core it can take half an hour to an hour with traffic. Holland has a strong local economy of its own though, anchored by manufacturing, tech, healthcare, tourism / hospitality, and education. Some of the biggest employers are Haworth, Herman Miller, Johnson Controls, Perrigo, and Gentex.

It is exciting to see all of this development happening on Michigan's west side!

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 6:19 PM

MLive did a neat video recently, a driving tour that captures some of the new developments happening downtown. I will break these down a bit more, development by development, but you can get a quick sense of how the scars in the urban fabric have been healing over with new investments. Muskegon has a sense of place that was gone / forgotten for decades. I doubt a visitor to the area 30 years ago would even recognize this as the same place today -

Video Link

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 6:34 PM

Here are some of the other substantial residential / mixed-use projects underway in Muskegon, in order of budget, including -

Berkshire Muskegon -
An 84-unit, affordable-housing community under construction at 275 W. Clay Avenue, geared towards those 55 years of age and older. The three-story development represents a $16 million investment by General Capital Group (Chicago, Milwaukee) and includes underground parking and 5,000 SF of ground-floor retail. It is scheduled to open this Spring -
Source: General Capital Group

Terrace Point Landing -

This is a 70-lot residential development right on Muskegon Lake. Started in 2013, development has been picking up steam with purchase and development of many of the lots. Valued at $10.25 million in total, this new community is by Parkland Development -
Source: Terrrace Point Landing

Lake View Lofts -
This new six-story mixed-use development recently broke ground at 351 W. Western Ave. (between 2nd and 3rd Streets). It will include commercial / retail space on the bottom three floors and 20 apartment units on the top three. Development partners Chris Benedict and Josh Canale are leading the $7 million effort to create this new building that will prominently anchor the corner lot where it is being built -
Source: MLive

Liberty Building Renovation -
Located right behind the Highpoint Flats development and across from Berkshire, the long-vacant liberty building (corner of Clay Ave. and 1st Street) is being converted to mixed-use, with plans for commercial / retail use on the first three floors, and apartments on floors 4 and 5. This project is estimated to cost $7 million -
Source: MLive | Courtesy Port City Construction

Heritage Square Commons / Townhomes -
The multi-phase Heritage Square development has brought much needed, medium-density residential housing downtown, and with pretty good architectural design. The latest round of townhomes were recently completed, and now work is substantially underway on a 2 story, mixed-use portion at the corner of Clay Ave. and 2nd Street. It will feature ground-floor retail with apartments above, and bring a finished-sense of density to this corner. Construction cost is estimated at $2 million and work is expected to be complete this summer -

Here's an earlier phase of completed townhomes (nice, right?) -
Source: Heritage Square

And a rendering of the current project, the Commons -
Source: MLive | Courtesy Port City Construction

Terrace Flats Apartments -

This $1.7 million project at 316 Morris St. involves a conversion of the top two floors of an office building into 20 market-rate apartment units. Phase one was completed in December -
Source: The Hinman Company

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 9:23 PM

In commercial development, the world's largest manufacturer of kayaks and other outdoor sporting equipment - KL Outdoors - recently moved its global headquarters to downtown Muskegon. The company spent over $9 million to renovate the former SPX Corp. pyramid, located at 700 Terrace Point. The move brings an expected increase of 150 jobs to the company and to the area -
Source: Twitter

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 10:28 PM

In healthcare, Mercy Health broke ground in Fall 2016 on a massive new expansion to its existing campus near US-31 and E Sherman Blvd. in Muskegon. The project, costing an estimated $271 million, is considered to be the single-most expensive project in the history of the entire county. At the center of the expansion is a new 10-story tower that will add 267 new, private beds to its current operations, along with new surgery space and a new emergency department. The existing facilities will receive extensive renovations as well. Mercy Health is the largest employer in the county, with about 4,100 employees. The new hospital is expected to be complete in 2019 -

Renderings - several more stories were added during design development -
Source: WZZM

The new 10-story tower topped out in October 2017 -
Source: Mercy Health News

deja vu Feb 24, 2018 10:43 PM

In other healthcare development news on Muskegon's Northside, Spectrum Health opened a new integrated patient care facility in December 2016 at 2009 Holton Road. The $13.8 million project includes a 30,000 SF facility to link lakeshore residents to Spectrum's massive facilities in Grand Rapids. Spectrum has been aggressive in its growth, and is trying to directly compete with Mercy -
Source: Spectrum Health

Mercy, in turn, is responding by erecting its own $12 million, 30,000 SF patient care facility directly across the street from Spectrum's, at 2006 Holton Road. Both facilities offer primary care, X-ray services, labs, and pharmacy services. Mercy's facility consolidates three primary care offices in the area, and is expected to open in November -
Source: MLive | Courtesy Mercy Health

deja vu Feb 25, 2018 12:12 AM

Here's another big one for Muskegon, with a lot of moving parts involved -

Last August, the city announced its plan for a $15 million downtown convention center, to be located adjacent to the LC Arena and Holiday Inn. This will be a joint public / private venture, with the city, the county, and the hotel owner working as partners on the development. Under the current arrangement, the city will own the center and arrange financing, but the actual money to pay off the debt and for operating expenses will come from Muskegon County and the hotel owner, Parkland Properties (Jon Rooks). Muskegon County would provide the guarantee on the bond payments. The city and county came up with a clever way to secure the financing. By passing a decision to levy a new tax on hotel rooms only within the city of Muskegon, the only yes vote needed to approve the 4% assessment was from Jon Rooks, because he is the only hotel owner in the city.

The Center will be built on land donated by Rooks behind his hotel, and is estimated to be between 40,000 and 50,000 SF. It is estimated to break ground in 2019 and to be open by 2021. The idea of a downtown convention center has been discussed for decades, and, after a 2014 feasibility study, those involved now believe that they have the demand and finances in order, and are ready to start design work. This is evidenced by the recent news that a local Architect has now been awarded the contract for design services - Progressive AE, out of Grand Rapids -


Muskegon convention center plan moves forward with architect selection
Ben Solis | MLive
February 7, 2018

MUSKEGON, MI - A renowned Grand Rapids-based architectural design firm has been tapped to begin work on a proposed $15 million convention center in the heart of downtown Muskegon. The Muskegon City Commission recently voted to engage Progressive AE to determine the size, location, amenities and costs for the convention center. Commissioners agreed to pay Progressive AE a total of $832,800 for architectural and design fees, plus other reimbursable expenses...

Conceptual Rendering of the new Convention Center, showing connections to the existing Holiday Inn and Arena -
Source: MLive | Courtesy Progressive AE

Conceptual Site Plan, Arena on bottom left -
Source: MLive | Courtesy Progressive AE
Related to this convention center proposal, it was also announced last August that the Holiday Inn will receive $2 - 5 million in renovation dollars and will be re-branded as an upscale chain, more befitting of a convention center hotel. According to the owner, on Rooks, the re-branded hotel will most likely be either a Crowne Plaza or a Radisson. The hotel renovations will begin after a formal agreement on the convention center is signed -


Holiday Inn to get millions in renovations to go with convention center
Lynn Moore | MLive
August 23, 2017

MUSKEGON, MI - Construction of a convention center in downtown Muskegon will prompt millions of dollars of upgrades to the downtown Holiday Inn in preparation of it operating under an "upscale" brand. Hotel owner Parkland Properties is working with the city of Muskegon and Muskegon County to build and finance the convention center that would be attached to both the hotel and the adjacent LC Walker Arena...
Photo of the current Holiday Inn, a 201-room, 8-story hotel -
Source: IHG / Holiday Inn

And in another small, related development, a new restaurant, Rad Dad's Taco & Tequila Bar, is being built and will be connected to the LC Arena -
Source: MLive

subterranean Feb 25, 2018 1:12 AM

Wow, thanks for the updates!

deja vu Feb 25, 2018 1:53 AM


Originally Posted by subterranean (Post 8098267)
Wow, thanks for the updates!

Sure! There's been a backlog of projects worth sharing here. I'll try to keep building the list over the next few weeks.

Here's one more big one for Muskegon - Muskegon Community College Downtown Center celebrated its grand opening last month. It occupies the former Muskegon Chronicle press building and former Masonic Temple building, located downtown at 388 W. Clay Ave. and was completed at a cost of almost $15 million. The campus, now formally known as the Carolyn I. and Peter Sturrus Technology Center, offers courses in applied technology programs and entrepreneurial studies. It also features a welding shop, prototyping labs with 3D printing and laser cutters, campus store, and credit union.

Project Renderings -
Source: MLive | Courtesy C2AE / MMA architects

Photos from the Grand Opening, January 2018 -

Automotion Lab -

Machine Shop -
Source: MLive | Joel Bissel

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