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$250M development on Muskegon Lake seeking dredge, fill permits and access to city property

Posted on September 14, 2022

Developers of a $250 million marina, condo and boat business on Muskegon Lake are seeking state and city approvals of dredging and filling wetlands and use of public property.

Adelaide Pointe is proposed for an area just west of the city’s Hartshorn Marina. The project would be on 30 acres owned by Adelaide Pointe as well as city-owned property that includes a peninsula and boat basin.

Public comment is being taken by the state on an application by Adelaide Pointe developer Ryan Leestma to dredge and fill wetlands at that boat basin as well as a second, larger area where the main marina will be located. A breakwall would be constructed at the main marina as well.

On Tuesday, the Muskegon City Commission will consider a use agreement with Adelaide Pointe that will allow it to have “exclusive use” of a new lift and launch ramp at the small boat basin. Commissioners were enthusiastic about the project when they approved a planned unit development for it last year.

The developer would be required to provide public easements to its two peninsulas that form the larger marina and construct at least $1.2 million in improvements, described as “park like,” on the three peninsulas, according to the agreement.

The Adelaide Pointe development will include in/out boat service as well as storage, residential condominiums, hotel and other commercial uses. Adelaide Pointe’s video about the project can be viewed by clicking here.

Construction is expected to require relocation of the Lakeshore Trail bike path out of an area behind the Fricano’s restaurant that is prone to flooding and closer to the lake. The agreement with the developer would require Leestma to pay the costs of moving the trail.

The development area is a former industrial site, known as a Brownfield, allowing increases in property tax revenues to be captured and used as compensation for improvements. Brownfield eligible improvements made by both the city and the developer are estimated at $35 million.

The developer has applied for several state and federal grants and loans to also help reimburse the city for its costs. Those include construction of the lift well and ramp at the small boat basin as well as street, water main and sewer improvements.

However, the city doesn’t have to construct the improvements if it’s not convinced there is money available to reimburse its costs, according to the use agreement. If the city can’t make that determination by Dec. 31, 2023, the agreement is terminated, according to its terms.

The timeline in the agreement calls for the developer to clear the city-owned peninsula by the small boat basin, expand the size of the boat basin and replace restrooms there this year.

The main marina with a public transient dock along with a multi-use building are to be constructed in 2023 and the first 50 condos will be built in 2025, according to the timeline.

Work in the small boat – or east basin – would include removal of 15 floating piers and the addition of a 373-foot floating shoppers dock and a 284-foot floating “queue” dock. There also would be a 105-foot floating service pier with fuel and a sanitary pump-out area.

Leestma is asking permission to dredge 12,000 cubic yards of material from the basin, according to the application to the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Some of the dredged material would be used as fill to develop a “soft shoreline.”

He’s also seeking to construct a 204-foot stone revetment on the east side of the small boat basin along the city’s peninsula that would have a concrete sidewalk to a boardwalk over wetlands. The other side of the basin would have a 341-foot stone revetment with a boardwalk. The revetments are intended to help prevent erosion.

There also would be a public kayak launch.

For the main marina, the developers are seeking permission to construct a 955-foot breakwall with public concrete fishing walkway off the peninsula on the west side and a 120-foot breakwall off the eastern peninsula.

The marina would have 273 slips, floating transient docks and mooring spots.

Overall, the project would permanently impact 1.6 acres of wetland with fill and structures, according to a state notice of the application.

When wetlands are filled, they must be mitigated by at least twice as much preserved wetlands elsewhere. In this case, the project would use a “wetland mitigation bank” along the Muskegon River watershed to provide 3.3 acres, according to the notice.

In all, 104,260 cubic yards of material would be dredged from Muskegon Lake to make the basins more navigable, according to the state’s notice. About 43,628 cubic yards of area would be filled, according to the state’s notice.

Many more details of the project and a place to provide comments can be found by clicking here. The state is accepting public comment until Sept. 20.



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