Neighbors concerned about Walker development as demolition begins

Kent County

WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — Demolition of the buildings at the former Lincoln Country Club site is now underway to make room for a new development.

A developer based near Chicago has proposed to build 250 single-story apartments, 68 single-family homes and have 7 acres available for commercial use at the property along Lake Michigan Drive near Wilson Avenue.

Developer Rick Cavenaugh with Stoneleigh Companies LLC says preliminary site plan approval has been granted for the 105 acres.

His company will handle the apartment development called The Savannah at Waterford Village.

Kris Braunschneider lives near the property and is concerned about the disruption from construction and the lasting impact of developing the land.

“The two main concerns are traffic and water drainage because the neighbors who live so close right to the project have water in their yards already and are dealing with water all the time,” Braunschneider said.

Cavenaugh says the company is working to address these concerns by establishing greenspace in the plan to protect wetlands and by putting in a stoplight to better regulate traffic.

“We’re building a public road that comes off of Lake Michigan Avenue and connects up to Maplerow to the north,” Cavenaugh said. 

According to Cavenaugh, the units will be moderately priced based on current market rates and will help meet the demand for housing in the area.

“Basically a one-story, attached garage, it emulates a single-family rental kind of property that you see so popular around the country,” Cavenaugh said.

Still, some neighbors are concerned they will have to access the light by driving through a commercial development and the traffic plan falls short of meeting the need.

“In this neighborhood trying to get in and out is like almost impossible now,” Braunschneider said. “It’s just becoming ‘apartmentville’ but Walker … doesn’t have any solutions to traffic.”

The developer hopes to have a final site plan approved early next year and to begin construction in the spring.

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