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Waterfront hotel, cruise ship dock proposed near downtown Holland

A hotel, restaurants and apartment buildings along the waterfront, a cruise ship dock and more are part of a proposed plan to redevelop the Lake Macatawa shoreline near downtown Holland.

The proposed plan calls for a mixed-use redevelopment along Lake Macatawa off of W 8th Street and Washington Boulevard that would include a 50-room hotel, four apartment buildings totaling 108 residences, restaurants with outdoor seating, a docking area for cruise ships and a marina with private and transient slips.

It would also include an ice cream shop with outdoor seating, covered and open parking spaces, green spaces, a boardwalk and more.  The developer behind the proposal is Holland-based Geenen DeKock Properties.

In order to fulfill the development, GDK would acquire the site, currently owned by Verplank Dock Co., along with adjacent city-owned properties. Verplank operations would relocate to the nearby site of the defunct James De Young power plant, which GDK would aquire and use to swap properties with Verplank.

The Holland Board of Public Works owns the 17-acre power plant site.  The proposed hotel is four-stories tall and would include a lobby, fitness center, meeting space and indoor pool.  The apartment buildings would share a three-story, common area building with a fitness center, business center, social space and meeting rooms. The outdoor common area would have a pool.

Holland unveiled the proposal to redevelop the waterfront property earlier this month. While they had initially vetted and qualified three interested developers to submit redevelopment proposals for the current Verplank location, only GDK submitted one.

City Manager Keith Van Beek said officials aren’t sure why the other two developers didn’t submit proposals. That’s something the city’s consultants on the project are working to find out, he said.

City staff and the Holland Board of Public Works are now evaluating the proposal to see if it aligns with the vision and guiding principles of the community-driven Waterfront Holland plan to redevelop the Lake Macatawa shoreline and downtown.

The Verplank location was one outlined in the plan for possible redevelopment. Broadly, Van Beek said, the plan calls for greater connectivity and opportunities along the riverfront and downtown.

“It really is looking to complement what we already have in our downtown and kind of have a thread of walkable consistency that connects that downtown to the opportunities on our waterfront,” Van Beek said of Waterfront Holland. “A harmony of urban and natural uses that really looks to take what we have economically going on downtown with the environmental sustainability and beauty of what we have on our waterfront.

“What we’re really looking to do is further activate our downtown to make it walkable and creating more year-round destinations so that people that either are residents already of Holland or that visit Holland could maybe have more opportunities to enjoy all that we offer.”

Staff will also evaluate the financing of the proposed deals and the steps to make the proposal possible, Van Beek said.

If everything goes right, it’ll go before Holland City Council for approval and then head to a vote by residents to approve or shoot down the sale of city-owned waterfront that would make the redevelopment possible. The city’s charter requires a vote on the sale of any city-owned waterfront property.

Van Beek said there isn’t a working timeline to get the evaluation finished and before council for a vote.

The proposal to build a cruise ship dock in Holland could put it at odds with Muskegon, which, just 31 miles north, has its own dock for cruise ships in Lake Michigan.

But Van Beek said he doesn’t expect a Holland cruise ship dock would take business from Muskegon.

“I think there’s been some excitement about a renewed interest in cruise ships visiting communities and my understanding of that industry, and even friends and family that have done it in other places, it’s not uncommon at all to stay one night in Holland and stay the next night in Muskegon,” he said. “So I don’t view it as competition. It has the great opportunity of making us both stronger.”


Posted By: mlive on February 11, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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