HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Voters in Holland will soon decide on a ballot question that would pave the way for a waterfront redevelopment project.
City Manager Keith Van Beek says a May 2 ballot question will ask if the city can sell two pieces of land to create space for the project.
“By our city charter, to sell either waterfront property or utility property, we actually need a 60% approval of those who vote in that election,” Van Beek explained.
The proposed development would occupy a green space next to the Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant and the current location of Verplank Dock Co., which would move to the former coal power plant site.
“For the public, it takes sites that right now are not available for public access to the water. Even though it would be private development, it would have public access to the water really at three different levels and would bring all types of new amenities,” Van Beek said.
Developer GDK, which worked with Waterfront Holland on the concept plans, is proposing a development that would include a restaurant, marina, hotel, condos and an ice cream shop.
“That private investment allows tax dollars to come into the community and really allows for various work that would need to be done,” Van Beek said.
No designs have been finalized but an initial concept includes a dock for a cruise ship.
“Right now we know that that industry is really growing and that they have really a desire to have a place and do that here in Holland,” Van Beek said.
Van Beek said the proposal would reduce truck traffic through downtown because Verplank Dock Co. would move.
“It would be a multiyear process before the community would see development begin at this site,” Van Beek said. “This would not raise taxes for the community, for residents at all, and in fact we had consultants that worked with us in this plan and it actually brings up to $20 million annually of new economic activity into the community.”