MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Work is well underway at Adelaide Pointe, the $250 million waterfront project in Muskegon.
With 60 people working on site at a time and around 150 people across multiple trades working temporary construction jobs throughout the project, a lot of work has already been completed since crews broke ground on May 1. The developers have financing and permits in place, the foundations are in for multiple buildings and crews are getting utilities put in.
Workers on Tuesday were hard at work getting several pieces of dock into the water at the property off of W. Western Avenue near Shoreline Drive. The first story of the condos and the dry marina will start to go up next week, while a multiuse building will start going up closer to November.
For developer Ryan Leestma, who started working on the project about 2.5 years ago with his wife Emily Leestma, it feels a bit surreal.
“I’ve been working on this thing for so long and planning it all out. And now everything got approved and everything got financed and it’s a little overwhelming how much I decided to do at the same time,” he said with a laugh. “We’ll get it all figured out, but it’s a lot all at the same time.”
Opening day is getting close. A 50,000-square-foot warehouse that is being converted into 20 private garages — ‘man caves’ or ‘she sheds’ with 22-foot tall and 18-foot wide doors — is expected to be ready by Nov. 1, while the dry and wet marinas are set to open on May 1.
The multiuse building, which will include a boat dealership, restaurant, event center and office space, is set to open around June 1. Residents will start moving into the condos next summer.
“To see it go from an idea in my brain to an idea on paper, to an idea that the city and the state and the federal government and banks and customers are all glamming on to and then to see it start coming out of the ground — and semi-truck after semi-truck of dock and more dock and more dock. It’s like, wow, what have I done?” Ryan Leestma said.
He and his wife have taken their boats to several marinas over the years, stopping at places like the Keys, Cuba, the Bahamas and the Great Lakes. They’ve visited around 100 marinas and from that developed a “very strong sense as to what boaters want,” Leestma said.
Boaters are looking for a marina with premium amenities, like a restaurant and a good pool, he said. Adelaide Pointe’s pool will be 75 feet long and 30 feet wide, with a long 18-inch-deep section for people to enjoy while sitting in pool chairs.
“We’re trying to — and we are — building the best marina in West Michigan, period, hands down. Because that’s what boaters want,” Leestma said.
Adelaide Pointe’s wet marina will have 169 slips for 40- to 90-foot boats, along with 35 transient slips. More than half of the slips have already been reserved and Leestma believes they could be full by the time it opens next spring.
A 180-foot fuel dock will sit at the harbor entrance. There will be four diesel dispensers and four gasoline dispensers, with space for small 10-foot boats to 100-foot boats.
After pulling into a transient or permanent slip, boaters can have food delivered from the on-site restaurant, the Muskegon Brewing Company.
Leestma’s wife is working on the menu with the kitchen manager at Bear Lake Tavern, another restaurant the couple owns. Muskegon Brewing Company will offer things like a ‘snackle box’ with various snacks you can take out onto your boat and adult beverages in packaging similar to a Capri Sun.
“So you could say, ‘Hey, I want to get half a dozen rum and cokes,’ and you’ll get them in pouches so that you don’t have to worry about breaking anything in your boat or something like that,” Leestma said.
Muskegon Brewing Company will offer a patio and a large bar, with 50 bar seats. There’s a need for boat-accessible waterfront dining, Leestma said.
“There’s going to be a lot of firsts going on here that people haven’t seen before in West Michigan,” he added.
For the most part the projects have been proceeding as expected at the former West Michigan Steel location, Leestma said, though as crews were drilling 80 feet down to put foundations in for the condos, the drill hit metal and got pushed to the side.
“Honestly, everything is going really well,” he said. “It’s a lot to keep track of, but in terms of the schedule and budget, can’t complain. But I’m keeping a close eye on it to make sure that it stays that way.”
As they get ready for opening, Leestma said he’s now worried about things like delivering on promises and not compromising his vision.
“That’s different than, ‘How do I get everybody to support this so that I can move forward?'” he said. “Now, everybody has supported this. We’re all good. But now I just have to make sure that things are done according to plan.”
Anyone interested in getting a closer look at the space can stop by Adelaide Pointe Friday, when an open house will take place from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. If you can’t make it, there will be more open houses in the future. Go to the project’s Facebook page for more information.