Holland moves forward on Lake Macatawa waterfront development plans

Ottawa County

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Since 2018, there have been conversations about how the city of Holland could become more connected to the waters surrounding it.  

City Manager Keith Van Beek said with interest growing in both living and visiting Holland, the city has been intentional about partnering with the community on future developments, including the Waterfront Holland project.

“Because of the opportunities that we have for our Waterfront Holland, we really wanted the community to talk about what their aspirations were,” Van Beek said. “People really wanted to connect to the water and they wanted to also connect our downtown to some of the other places that we have downtown that’s near to the water.”

To help reach that goal, the city plans to redevelop the James De Young power plant site along Lake Macatawa. It’s the first major opportunity to advance the goals of the community’s vision.

Nearly 17 acres and 970 feet of frontage along the water would allow for a large-scale mixed used facility. That could include restaurants, public amenities, marinas, residential spaces, and opportunities for events and entertainment. The space would create easier access to Lake Michigan and there would also be connections from 3rd and 4th streets to Pine Avenue.

A courtesy image from the Waterfront Holland Developer Solicitation Package showing the site location for the Waterfront Holland project.

The first step in the process is to find qualified developers. 

“It’s just taking a look that we know that those that are interested, have the proven track record with similar-type projects and financial backing that they could pull off a project the size and scope of what we’re talking about,” Van Beek explained.

Those that are qualified would be invited to give the city more specific proposals for what they have in mind.

“We expect that as we close out 2021 and enter into 2022 that first city council would approve one of those chosen projects,” Van Beek said.

If all goes according to plan, construction is expected to start late in 2022 or early in 2023, but this is a project Van Beek says the city doesn’t want to rush. 

“Ultimately this is a community project,” he said. “We want to do it well. It’s really a project that really going to define Holland for generations going forward.”

More information on the project can be found on the Waterfront Holland website.

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