MUSKEGON, Mich. — The proposed development at Adelaide Pointe has received the necessary permits from EGLE, developer Ryan Leestma says.
Now, work can begin as soon as the city gives its final approval. This comes as dozens of community members attended a meeting Thursday night, and some voices concerns about the project.
The city of Muskegon hosted a presentation and interactive forum on the proposed development of a multi-million dollar marina community.
The land is currently a combination of public and private access on Muskegon Lake.
The plans include improvements to the current bike trail, break wall and fishing pier, as well as boat storage, a full-slip marina, a hotel, condos and retail space.
"We feel that we've worked with these private sector partners that improve and enhance public access," Jake Eckholm, the city's director of development services says. "They improve corridors for the neighborhood (and) the people that live there like Nims and other places to access the water. I think when we make this public waterfront more attractive and accessible, more people will enjoy that park than probably enjoy it today. "
The community got to interact with city staff as well, writing out questions for staffers to answer for the audience. Some asked about access to Adelaide Point whether they're on foot or bike, or whether they're there for boating or fishing.
People also asked about the permanence of public access, and some expressed concerns that that could change.
"You have to excuse us a little bit when you say it's going to be permanent, we all go 'Ha!," one person says. "Because that's how we feel is that this is not old news. This is not 40 years ago, this is three years ago that the previous mayor gave away and signed away these things that we believed to be public property, and we've watched it disappear. And so excuse us for being a little bit sour. Because I think everyone that cares about it is a little sour about how this is going."
The city wants to assure residents that in their agreement, they are ensuring that the parts of this land that are currently public stay that way.
"We want to make sure that this public access is there," City Manager Jonathan Seyferth says. "It's good for the development (and) it's good for the community to make sure that there's public access through that trail, through that fishing pier and through those other amenities."
The developer says he wants that too for the lakefront.
"I think that when there's resources that are valued by everyone, that everybody should be able to enjoy it. And that's it," Leestma says. "Adelaide point is not for a small group of people. My vision for Adelaide point from the very beginning. Two years ago when I started this was that Adelaide point would be a place for everybody. And that's what we're working towards."
The next city commission meeting is Feb. 14, where they will vote on an amendment to the proposal and an addendum to the financing.
Seyferth says these are critical next steps, and the community is urged to come if they have more questions.
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