MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — City Commissioners in Muskegon voted Tuesday evening to approve an option purchase agreement, which includes 10 lakefront parcels at the former Sappi Paper Mill site.
The potential purchase would be a part of the Windward Pointe development, which is led by Parkland Properties, a Muskegon-based developmental company.
“Every developer likes it when there’s a unanimous approval,” said Jon Rooks, owner of Parkland Properties. “But we’re just happy that the community is excited about it. We’re getting a lot of positive feedback.”
The city said it is working to make its lakefront more accessible for people who visit and live in the area. During Tuesday’s meeting, city commissioners made it clear that the approved vote doesn’t obligate the city to buy the land. City officials said if they decide to move forward, the ten parcels would become a park.
“The beauty of these ten parcels is that on the west side of the end of Lincoln, will be a dog park,” explained Jonathan Seyferth, Muskegon City Manager. “On the East side, will be a matured tree park. These parcels will connect that in an arc.”
Parkland Properties is under contract to purchase the entire waterfront site, which sits at 122 acres. Parkland Properties’ current project, Windward Pointe, could include townhouses, condo buildings, residential units, storefronts, a marina and more. Parkland Properties would sell the ten parcels to the City of Muskegon for nearly $1.5 million.
“The developers agreed, with this option, that we could purchase these at a 15% discount or $148,750 per lot,” said Seyferth.
However, city officials said they are still working on how they will fund the purchase if they decide to move forward.
When discussing the project during Tuesday’s meeting, Vice Mayor Willie German Jr. brought up his concerns for the project.
“One of my major concerns was, as it was 12 years ago, was water safety and the contamination,” he said.
Rooks responded, stating Parkland Properties consulted with three different environmental firms. According to Rooks, each of those firms provided the company with a letter stating they believe the property can be safely redeveloped.
When it comes to the next steps, the city said there will be another public hearing on Nov. 6 and the next city commissioner’s meeting is scheduled for Nov. 14 at 5:30 p.m.