Holland. (February 6, 2013.)
HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - A plan to close Holland's coal power plant, could open new opportunities for future development on the city's waterfront. The plant is located at 64 Pine Avenue, a short distance from downtown, and there's now a lot of discussion surrounding future possibilities.
Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra says the coal power plant has been a barrier between the city's waterfront and future development for decades.
"Right in the heart of the waterfront has been a coal fired power plant, with a big pile of coal next to it," says Mayor Dykstra.
However, as the coal power plant is set to close in three years, other ideas for the area are just beginning to gain steam.
"Whether it's recreational, whether it's residential, or commercial," says Mayor Dykstra. "The game changing thing of not having a power plant sitting there and the knowledge that use is going away, I think has given everyone a fresh energy," says Mayor Dykstra.
Dykstra says it's long-term vision, low on details, but high on imagination, including for the downtown area.
"We could have a connection, a much better expansion of downtown into the waterfront," says Mayor Dykstra.
The city already owns several pieces of property on the waterfront, including Kollen Park, but the mayor says any future project would mainly be driven by private industry.
"We're not telling anyone they need to move or change their use, that's not what we're in the business of doing," says Mayor Dykstra.
However, Mayor Dykstra says local business leaders are already talking about what could come next.
"When or if some other development happens it will take decades, but in a planning world, a decade is a pretty short amount of time," says Mayor Dykstra.
Mayor Dykstra points to other lakeshore communities, like Grand Haven and South Haven, for a possible model of what Holland could do with future development.