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Company lays out plans for Grand Haven's old diesel plant

The Illinois-based CL/Lakewood made a 45-minute presentation at a city council meeting meeting on Monday, April 11, telling council members what they have planned.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — An Illinois-based company has laid out their plans for the future of the former diesel plant on Harbor Drive across the from the U.S. Coast Guard station in Grand Haven.

CL/Lakewood made a roughly 45-minute presentation before the City Council on Monday, April 11. The company plans to work with the Holland-based Lakewood Construction company to transform the building into a mixed-use development.

"Our development concept here is primarily an event center with the possibility of a restaurant and office space. That's the primary uses of this historic building," said Nathan Watson, who serves as the President of CL Real Estate Development.

City Council members say the top concern of Grand Haven residents is that the historic look of the building be preserved. Watson says the company plans to develop using a "light touch," and to not change much about the building itself.

"It's a very good thing to preserve historic buildings. This one's an iconic building with dramatic exterior construction. It's fantastic clear span space, important history in the community as a power plant, and these great big windows that have the opportunity for view creation," he said.

"We want to open it up and clean it up and make it accessible to as many people as possible with the uses that we've determined for the building."

People who oppose the current purchase agreement say they're worried about the possibility of the company building condos in the future. The company did talk about that as a possibility, but it's not their first priority.

"We are not in a hurry to do that. I fully expect we will finish this building before we move to anything else," Watson said.

The City Council did not have a quorum to move forward with a vote on the plan.

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