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Grand Rapids' $30M Downtown Market announces new artisan bakery as latest tenant

Grand Rapids' $30 million Downtown Market announced this week that a high-end artisan bakery is its sixth tenant in the year-round Market Hall.

Field & Fire, owned and operated by Shelby Kibler, a former baker and developer of Ann Arbor's popular Zingerman's, will occupy 1,500 square feet in one of 24 indoor vendor stalls in what will be West Michigan's premier fresh food and culinary venue. The Downtown Market will open this summer at 435 Ionia Ave. SW with vendors in place. Market officials indicate restaurants, pubs, a cooking school, a greenhouse, an outdoor farmers market, and much more will follow.

Kibler plans to offer market visitors organic breads, croissants, gougere made with cheese and black pepper, flatbreads, pizzas, and savory baked goods made onsite daily in wood-fired ovens. All items will be prepared from locally sourced ingredients.

Kibler, a Stanton, Mich. native, lives in Ann Arbor and will relocate his family to Grand Rapids to be close to the bakery.

"I've thought for years that Grand Rapids was a market that was underserved for the high quality artisan breads," Kibler says. "Grand Rapids has been on my radar for a while, and I thought that before (an artisan bakery) gets built, I'd better do it myself. I'm going to have an audience at the Downtown Market to come and see my bakery, which is sometimes what makes it hard for businesses to succeed -- how do I draw people to my business?"

Field & Fire will join several other shops announced by the market previously: Simpatico Coffee, Old World Olive Press, Crescent Floral & Gifts, Dorothy and Tony's Gourmet Kettle Corn, and Love's Ice Cream.

Source: Downtown Market News Release
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Art of the Table to open food, wine, and beer tasting boutique in Grand Rapids' Downtown Market

If two Grand Rapids entrepreneurs get the green light from the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority (DDA) for a liquor license, then a new food, beer, and wine tasting venue will be the latest shop to stake its claim at Grand Rapids' $30 million Downtown Market.

Amy Ruis, owner of Art of the Table (606 Wealthy St. SE), and Kate Leeder, the store's cheesemonger for the past five years, plan to open Aperitivo in the Downtown Market's 24-vendor Market Hall. The women have applied to the DDA for a liquor license that will allow them to offer beers and wines for onsite consumption in the new 1,200-square-foot shop that will feature a tasting bar.

Aperitivo, Spanish for "appetizer," describes the concept for the small plates that Ruis says will be on the menu. Customers will be able to order samples of the items available for purchase in the store: an array of cheeses, and gourmet taste treats to go with the cheeses, such as, salamis, patés, prosciutto, nuts, honeys, jams, crostini, olives, and the like.

Customers will be able to sit at one of 15 seats at the bar inside the store, or on the outdoor terrace, and taste plates of delectable goodies along with a beer or glass of wine.

"We'll be in the Market Hall, right at the front entrance in a primo space," Ruis says. "The concept is that it's primarily a cheese shop, but we'll also have some retail gourmet foods, beers, and wines to pick up and take home. We will also offer a grilled cheese of the day for those who want a light lunch. It will be a simplified menu focused on tasting the products we sell."

The market opens this summer and will feature an outdoor farmers market, a certified kitchen, a greenhouse, dining, coffee shops, bakeries, and more.

Source: Amy Ruis, Aperitivo
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Grand Rapids' Fulton Street Farmers Market in full bloom with new year-round market building

Construction on the Fulton Street Farmers Market (1147 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids) is nearing completion. The last phase of the $3 million renovation project began in December with the erection of a 2,000-square-foot, year-round building that will house 8 to 10 indoor stalls, as well as the market manager's office.

Other features include improved traffic flow, ADA-compliant restrooms at both ends of the market, and updated electrical outlets in each stall to accommodate vendors' own heaters and freezers.

So far, the new facelift has yielded impressive results. After construction of the massive market shed (roof structure) ended last year, farmers saw their sales increase. Hard stats are not yet in, but Project Leader Christine Helms-Maletic says, "By the end of April, anecdotally, we had about a 25 percent increase in sales, which is astounding since we had a killing frost last spring. We also had a fairly severe, dry summer, but in spite of that, the farmers were doing more business."

Part of the reason for the boost in business is that the new market is more efficient, allowing farmers to keep produce refrigerated and significantly reducing set-up and breakdown times. Farmers have more time to work in the fields to produce more, well, produce.

In January, the year-round market expanded its hours to include Saturdays from 10 a. m. to 1 p.m. until April 27.

"The winter market is even better with the (shed) roof," says Helms-Maletic. "Farmers sell meats, cheeses, eggs, baked goods, and root vegetables."

So far, Rakowski Family Farm, offering Moo-ville dairy items, eggs, and poultry, and Fantabulous Fudge have spots in the year-round building. Real Food Farm, which sells veggies, and August's Kitchen, which offers baked goods, will occupy time-sharing a spot.

Regular market hours return on Saturday, May 4 until Christmas: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening.

Stay current on events at the market via its Facebook page here.

Source: Christine Helms-Maletic, Project Leader, Fulton Street Farmers Market
Writer: Victoria Mullen, Do Good Editor

Muskegon wakes up and smells the coffee with new shop in historic Russell Block Building

Drip Drop Drink will be one of the first three tenants opening in the Russell Block Market, the $2 million retail incubator located at 360 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon. The shop, which will specialize in handcrafted, drip-style coffee along with an espresso bar, is gearing up to open in June.

It's the brainchild of Muskegon resident Todd Johnson, who has 20 years of experience in the food service business. After he and his employer of 18 years parted ways last August, Johnson was free to follow his dream. 

Although Grand Rapids coffee houses, such as Madcap Coffee and Rowster Coffee, already embrace drip-style coffee, it is something new for Muskegon.

"Drip Drop Drink uses only high-quality, artisan-roasted coffee beans that are sustainably produced by direct-trade farmers," says Johnson. "Drip-style coffee slows the process down and allows us to get to know our customers. We want people to take their time and enjoy the process of coffee making, the aroma, and all of the flavors inherent in the beans."

When the Russell Block Market opens, Drip Drop Drink, along with other small and start-up retailers, will help perk up the downtown area, which is enjoying a renaissance after suffering a period of decline, including the closure and demolition of the former Muskegon Mall a dozen years ago.

The retail incubator offers Drip Drop Drink and other tenants low rents as well as the opportunity for group marketing and business development support.

Coffee connoisseurs don't have to wait until June to get a taste of what Drip Drop Drink offers. Johnson sets up shop at the Muskegon Indoor Winter Market (old Savings Bank Building, 350 W. Western Ave.) on Weds. and Sat. from 9 a.m. to3 p.m.. He also sets up shop at Watermark Live once a month.

Source: Todd Johnson, Drip Drop Drink
Writer: Victoria Mullen, Do Good Editor

Ada's Spoonlickers hits the road May 1 with its new frozen yogurt party cart

"There weren't many places to go for treats with our kids," says Ada resident, Dianna Darling. "The options out there used processed, frozen food. There was room to do something better." And so began the story of Spoonlickers.

Having identified a need in the community for a healthier alternative, Darling and her family wasted no time in getting their flagship business, Spoonlickers Handcrafted Frozen Yogurt (400 Ada Dr., Suite D, Ada) up and running last Memorial Day weekend.

Business was so brisk, they opened another shop in Grand Rapids (1971 East Beltline NE, Suite 104) in October, and a third shop in Eastown (1551 Wealthy St. SE) in January. All told, the three locations employ 50 people.

But wait -- they're not done yet!

On May 1, Spoonlickers goes mobile, bringing its tasty treats to the customer, instead of the other way around. "We'll have the same equipment and soft-serve machines, but everything will be mobile," says Darling. "We'll cater to private events, parties, and festivals."

Every tasty treat is handcrafted from locally grown or produced ingredients. Each location has its own kitchen where delicious recipes come to life. "We make yogurt with real fruit and real cream, and we make our own toppings, too," says Darling. "We even make marshmallows from scratch."

From idea to construction, it takes about three months to get a 1,500-square-foot Spoonlickers shop up and running. The Darlings had considered franchises, but were turned off by the plethora of corporate requirements and restrictions.

"We wanted full creative control," says Darling. "It was a quick decision, a quick process. We had solid connections in the area that helped things go fast."

The Darlings have a humble goal: to employ people and for each location to pay for itself. Anything beyond that would be icing on the cake.

Source: Diane Darling, Spoonlickers
Writer: Victoria Mullen, Do Good Editor

Historic Elston Storage Building on Wealthy Street to be redeveloped

In the continuing transformation of Wealthy Street and the Cherry Hill, East Hills, and Fairmount Square areas, the historic Elston Storage Building will soon be getting a lot of attention. Developers plan to convert the office and storage building into live/work units, commercial and retail space called Live Wealthy. Commonly referred to as the Kregel Building, the five story building located at 733 Wealthy Street between Eastern and Charles, has housed the Kregel Publishing Company for several decades.

"This is a gateway building, and it will continue to change the feel of that area of Wealthy Street." says Brice Bossardet, who is serving as the real estate broker and representative of the building's developers.

Live/work refers to projects consisting of both commercial/office and residential components that are occupied by the same resident. Developers envision 1200 - 1300 square foot live/work apartments, targeting long-term renters similar to commercial leases.

Part of the plans for the 80,000 square foot building involve adding extensive windows to the top three floors, which have been closed off by brick to accommodate the large upper floor storage areas, removing plywood siding that has covered up the ground floor windows and bringing in active retail uses, and adding balconies. Because of the historical nature of the building, many of those changes to the upper floors will depend on the Historic Preservation Commission's approval and Historic Tax Credit regulations.

According to Bossardet, in reviewing information in the Grand Rapids Archives:

"In 1917 the owner of the two-story Elston Storage Building needed to make a large expansion to his facility located at 733 Wealthy St SE in Grand Rapids, MI. Positioned in the middle of a deeply entrenched residential community, he knew the only place to go was up. He consulted with renowned Grand Rapids Architect Lee DeCamp to offer an affordable solution. Mr. DeCamp looked at many possibilities, but decided to raise the roof and build three more stories under it. It was an aggressive “Feat in Engineering”, but F. S. Elston proceeded with the project. The October 28, 1917 edition of The Grand Rapids Herald reported “in 65 working days added three stories, set the original roof in place without even a crack, and all the while Mr. Elston was doing business in the original two stories. There was not a dollar’s worth of damage. "When completed the warehouse was the largest in the State, absolutely fireproof, and 'the last word in construction of such buildings.'"

Developers are also eyeing Ron's Car Wash on the corner of Eastern and Wealthy Street and the lot that separates the two. They envision the possible construction of a building between Ron's and the Elston Building, to replicate a building that was demolished in 1986 according to Bossardet. Those plans also would have to go before the HPC.

If all goes as planned, construction on the project is set to begin in August 2013 with tenants beginning to take occupancy in late 2013/early 2014.

To stay up-to-date on this project, you can visit their Facebook page here.

Writer: Jeff Hill, Publisher
Source: Brice Bossardet, Urban Space of Grand Rapids LLC

Images courtesy of Urban Space

Founders Brewing Company's latest growth plans include a "beer school" and expansive beer garden

The brisk business growth and physical expansions at Founders Brewing Co. are nearly impossible to keep up with, but the plans for this summer's revamp of the front parking area, as well as development of an educational facility, will put local fans in ringside seats.

Phase 2 of Founders' $26 million expansion (235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids) is ready to kick in with the development of a "beer school" educational facility and a beer garden that co-owner Mike Stevens calls with a chuckle, "a drinkin' man's Disneyland."

The 3,000-square-foot beer garden will replace the current front parking lot with outdoor fire pits, stonework and brick, a full-functioning bar with a rooftop structure, plenty of comfortable seating, and "a lot of landscaping, to make it a true beer garden," Stevens says. Founders' expansive 1,400-square-foot front porch will remain, and will be just a couple of steps above the beer garden to make it feel like it's all one space.

Radiant heating in the beer garden's floor, and above-floor heat, will make it a functioning space even in cooler weather.

Indoors, plans to add an educational space for teaching/learning about beer move forward. Those plans coincide with the construction of a two-story office space connected to the brewery.

"Our position on this whole craft beer industry is that we need to educate people as to what's representative of really good quality beer," Stevens says. "Everyone's excited about craft beer, but the craft beer industry only has six percent of the drinking public, so there's a lot of opportunity out there. One of the best ways to grow that opportunity is by educating the general public on craft beer."

Stevens says Founders is "getting very serious" about creating the educational program he calls "Beer 101." The focus is to train Founders' retailers, wholesalers, individual consumers, and home brewers on brewing processes, types of beers, taste appeal, and more. The school will accommodate 100 students at a time.

This phase of the expansion follows Founders' recent addition of three 600-barrel fermenters and a fermenting cellar, a brew house expansion, and a new brew kettle and a mash lauter tun that increases beer production from 150,000 barrels to 320,000 barrels.

Work on the beer garden and educational facility begins in April.

Source: Mike Stevens, Founders Brewing
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Lantern Coffee Bar & Lounge to brew up more than just coffee in growing Commerce Ave. district

The owners of the former Ada Coffee Bar hope to bring more than just good, hot brews to the growing business district on southwest Commerce Avenue. Kevin Wallace and Steve Wiltjer plan to open Lantern Coffee Bar & Lounge on April 26 as a warm and welcoming gathering spot for friends, business meetings, and the lone student pursuing studies.

Wiltjer, 29, says the duo came up with the "lantern" name as "something that would communicate the kind of space and ambience we want to create…the old street lantern represents warmth and safety and welcoming that people gather around."

To that end, Wiltjer and Wallace are busy transforming the 1,450-square-foot space in the Grand Central Lofts building (100 Commerce Ave. SW) into a multi-level coffee house with specialty drinks, casual seating areas for larger and smaller groups, and a small stage for music or the spoken word. The entry level on the corner of Commerce SW and Oakes St. SW opens to a walkout level a few steps below. Above the shop are 31 new market-rate apartments.

"We've been looking for something downtown for a quite a while," Wiltjer says. "I saw an article on this building in Rapid Growth. I met with the landlord, fell in love with the building, and we moved forward."

The décor, designed by Wiltjer's wife, Rachel Bush, will have an "old library feel with darker colors, comfortable and cozy, but still clean and fresh," he says.

The shop will serve coffee from Populace Coffee, a specialty roaster in Bay City, Mich., as well as a variety of teas, chai, and other non-coffee drinks. And while Wiltjer guarantees the drinks to be great, the focus is on an atmosphere where people will want to spend time. The shop will offer a table reservation service for casual gatherings and business meetings.

The April 26 grand opening (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) will double as a fundraiser for the YWCA.

Source: Steve Wiltjer, Lantern Coffee Bar & Lounge
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Grand Rapids' Herkimer Hotel renovation, new Commerce Ave. buildings bring $29M affordable housing

Renovation of Grand Rapids' historic Herkimer Hotel building on S. Division Avenue and construction of two adjacent buildings on Commerce Avenue SW will bring 122 new affordable apartments, retail live/work residences, and office space to the city's south side.

The $29 million project is the last piece in revitalizing an entire city block owned by Dwelling Place, Inc. Construction has begun to convert the Herkimer Apartments (323 S. Division Ave.) from 122 mostly studio units to 55 larger one-bedroom apartments.

Construction of two new four-story buildings directly west on Commerce Ave. SW, between Goodrich and Bartlett streets, adds another 67 one-bedroom apartments to the mix. Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services will occupy 14,000 square feet on the first level to provide support services to the apartment residents and others in the area.

An elevated, enclosed walkway connects the Herkimer and Commerce Avenue buildings.

A new 13,550-square-foot infill addition to the north of the Herkimer building will replace a small surface parking lot and connect the Herkimer building to the existing Calumet Flats, also owned by Dwelling Place. The renovation includes construction of seven live/work apartments along S. Division Avenue.

"We are part of Housing First through the continuum of care, trying to find a way to not put people in shelters, but in apartments, and wrap the services they need around them so they can remain housed," says Director of Housing Development, Sr. Jarrett DeWyse, O.P.  "All 122 units are supportive housing, which means we give residents as much independence as they need and as much support as they need in order to remain housed. Forty-two of the units will be part of the Housing First program."

The new Herkimer Apartments will be completed by August 2013. The rest of the project will be complete by late fall.

Architectural design: Brian Winkelmann of DTS Winkelmann
Construction manager: Rockford Construction

Source: Jarrett DeWyse, Dwelling Place, Inc.
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Three more historic buildings in Grand Rapids' downtown targeted for renovations, upgrades

Remodels of three historic structures in downtown Grand Rapids will begin this spring, bringing the buildings up to modern office standards in the hope of making them attractive to potential tenants.

The Ledyard Building (125 Ottawa NW), the Trade Center Building (50 Louis St. NW), and The Michigan Trust Building (40 Pearl NW), are owned by CWD Real Estate Investment and will undergo significant upgrades this spring and summer, says CWD Managing Partner Scott Wierda.

The buildings, built between 1874 and 1896, have had few upgrades in the past 20 or so years and are overdue, Wierda says.

"We believe in the longterm future of downtown Grand Rapids and that it's very, very important to have the urban core stable," Wierda says. "For a long time, the downtown development has been based on philanthropy, and while those have been great gifts to all of us, we feel that the future needs to be based on development, not dependent on philanthropy. It's up to us to continue what's already been started. We've seen that with a lot of these buildings, there wasn't significant reinvestment in the building."

The Ledyard Building, which was the first location of the Grand Rapids Public Library, will get an atrium and upgrades to the unleased office and retail spaces.

The six-story Trade Center was constructed as the Masonic Temple and is the current home of Start Garden. A major portion of the remodel will include a new lobby, elevators, and restrooms, plus upgrades to the 60 percent of the building's office spaces not currently occupied. CWD plans to move its own headquarters there after the renovation.

The Michigan Trust Building is the site of former President Gerald R. Ford's first law office from 1941-1943. The second floor was vacated recently and features high ceilings, ornamental details, and arched windows, all of which will be preserved. Renovations include better lighting, upgrades to common areas and the main lobby, and repairs to windows and the sandstone façade.

Source: Scott Wierda, CWD Real Estate Investment
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Noted Muskegon architectural firm Hooker DeJong branches out to Grand Rapids

Longtime Muskegon architectural and engineering firm Hooker DeJong has branched out from its home base to the Grand Rapids market with the opening of its first satellite office. The company has a 75-year history in Muskegon, but in recent years has employed several people from the Grand Rapids area, making a local office hub a practicality.

While the new office at 212 Grandville Ave. SW became reality several months ago as shared space with Fusion Properties, creating a separate space for four employees -- plus a drop-in hub for on-the-road employees -- is now complete.

"We've worked with Fusion Properties in the past, and (this building) works well for us because of the ease of getting on and off US-131 for our travel needs," says Cindy Hindi, client services specialist. "We made acoustical changes for a quieter atmosphere, but left the exposed ductwork and interior brick walls. This has a contemporary, urban feel to it."

Hooker DeJong's project list includes Fusion Properties' Grand Central Lofts in Grand Rapids, Muskegon County Veteran’s Memorial Causeway Park, Holland's Midtown Senior Apartments and Evergreen Commons Day Center, and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians' new Government Center in Manistee.

Hooker DeJong will host Green Drinks Grand Rapids at San Chez A Tapas Bistro (38 W. Fulton St.) on March 21 (5:00 – 7:00 p.m.), followed by an informal walk-thru of the new office space.

Source: Cindy Hindi, Hooker DeJong, Inc.
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

After six-year wait, Embassy Suites moves on plans for new $34M riverfront Grand Rapids hotel

Suburban Inns announced this week it plans to move ahead with construction of a 270-suite Embassy Suites hotel in Grand Rapids' Monroe North business district. The announcement comes six years after the company's purchase of the former Western American Mailers plant at Newberry St. and N. Monroe Avenue.

The housing market crash derailed initial plans for the $34 million project, originally slated for construction in 2009. The hotel will include space for first-floor retail shops and could bring some 300 jobs to the region.

"We really feel that a lot of the medical and educational institutes are in that general area, and it's as close to the hospitals and to DeVos Place as we can get and still purchase land at a rate where we can afford to offer reasonable rates to guests," says Suburban Inns COO Peter R. Beukema. "We hope the hotel will start to really assist the growth in the North Monroe district. Hopefully the hotel will help Grand Rapids be more attractive to a lot of the larger conventions, and that puts more heads in beds and more staff to work."

Preliminary plans include a possible 11-story structure, room layouts that consist of Embassy Suites' three-room suites, indoor parking, and shuttle service to anywhere in Grand Rapids.

Construction begins this summer, with a grand opening planned for fall 2014.

Suburban Inns owns and operates Holiday Inn Express of Grand Rapids Southwest/Grandville, Holiday Inn Express of Holland, Hampton Inn and Sharkee’s Bar and Grill in Holland, Holiday Inn of Midland, and Big E’s Sports Grill.

Source: Peter R. Beukema, Suburban Inns
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Unruly Brewing to open community brewery in downtown Muskegon, aims to make city a beer destination

Unruly Brewing and Pigeon Hill Brewing will soon put Muskegon on the beer destination map when the two craft breweries open in the city's growing downtown district this year.

Pigeon Hill Brewing (500 W. Western Ave.) plans to open later this year in the Noble Building (read story here), while Unruly Brewing will bring a community-brewing aspect to the historic Russell Block Building (360 W. Western Ave.) as early as this spring.

Unruly's owners, Jeff Jacobson, Mark Gongalski, and Eric Hoffman, plan to get the brewery established, then open the brew house to select home brewers who will introduce their own tried-and-tasted recipes to the community on a larger scale.

"We want Unruly Brewing to be a place where local brewers talk about beer, learn about beer, and eventually have an opportunity to make their own beers onsite," Jacobson says. "We're hoping by the end of 2013 to start developing a program for that."

The brewery's 2,500-square-foot taproom will be a room without walls, Jacobson says, and open to the rest of the Russell Block Market where it will share seating and occupancy space with Drip Drop Drink coffee shop and possibly a food vendor.

Downstairs, the brew house occupies another 1,500 square feet. Outside, a patio area on the building's south side will have outdoor seating.

Jacobson says he, Gongalski, and Hoffman are active home brewers. Gongalski and Hoffman founded the Muskegon Area Society of Homebrewers (MASH) and Hoffman will be the pub's brew master.

Unruly Brewing opens late this spring with 10 of its own brews on tap, including an ale, a pre-prohibition crème ale made from authentic pre-prohibition ingredients, a double IPA, a coffee porter, and an IPA.

"I'm hoping this brings people downtown," Jacobson says. "During the summer it's packed with all the festivals, but it could be so much more than just space for that. There's a lot of space that could be filled with retail and restaurants."

Source: Jeff Jacobson, Unruly Brewing
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Pigeon Hill Brewing to open in downtown Muskegon, one of city's first two microbreweries on tap

Downtown Muskegon has its first two microbreweries on tap and will soon join the growing movement to make West Michigan a beer destination.

Unruly Brewing plans to open this spring in the Russell Block Building (read story here), followed by Pigeon Hill Brewing in the Noble Building (500 W. Western Ave.).

Pigeon Hill Brewing carries the name of a sand dune that once graced the shoreline in Muskegon and was home to thousands of passenger pigeons. The sand was mined away for industrial purposes and 71 acres is now home to an elite housing development, Harbour Towne.

Pigeon Hill Brewing's owners Joel Kamp, Chad Doane, and Michael Brower, all avid home brewers, hope to resurrect the dune in memory.

"It is our goal to reinvigorate interest in local history, build a deeper sense of pride in the greater Muskegon area, and craft our city into a 'beer destination,'" Brower says. "While Pigeon Hill Brewing will not singlehandedly breathe new life into downtown Muskegon, we believe that our efforts, combined with the efforts of many others downtown, are exactly the catalyst that Muskegon needs to usher in a new, brighter future."

Interior demolition of the west 2,500-square-feet of the Noble Building (along Fifth St.) begins soon, with brewery construction to follow. The 80-seat taproom will share the space with a 3.5-barrel brew house that produces 108 gallons per batch. A separate area will be used for aging special release beers.

"Our beer will be as diverse as our customers," Brower says. "As of right now, our line-up includes Walter Blonde Ale, Shifting Sands IPA, LMFAO (Let Me Fetch An Oatmeal) Stout, Oatmeal Cream Pie, Skeetown Brown, and several other unnamed brews."

Brower says Pigeon Hill is working with the landlord to attract a restaurant to the building's other half.

Although Pigeon Hill hopes to open later this year, no date has been set.

Source: Michael Brower, Pigeon Hill Brewing
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Development could bring 70 new homes, $1.5M in spending, to downtown Muskegon's waterfront

Jon Rooks has a vision to bring 70 new homes to downtown Muskegon's waterfront, and both the Muskegon Planning Commission and the Muskegon City Commission have approved the plans.
 
Terrace Point Landing, LLC, of which Rooks is the manager, plans to offer 28 waterfront home sites along Muskegon Lake and 42 home sites with waterfront access, all on the vacant 11-acre parcel adjacent to the Shoreline Inn and Conference Center, Terrace Point Marina, and the Lake House Waterfront Grille.
 
Rooks purchased the 23-acre parcel from the bank in 2009, and says he plans to pass the cost savings along to homebuyers.
 
"We're interested in appealing to a diverse group of buyers and view these as homes that could be purchased as a first or second home of young professionals, families, or empty nesters," Rooks says. "We anticipate lot prices would be $95,000 to $125,000 (for) waterfront and start at about $45,000 for non-waterfront lots. Construction costs would probably be $125,000 to $175,000 per home."
 
The project includes two community pools, one at the marina and one in the housing development, a forest courtyard, a hot tub, a Muskegon Lake beach, and unrestricted access by boat to Lake Michigan. Waterfront buyers would have first right of refusal for a marina slip.
 
Rooks points out that there are still a lot of details to iron out, including finding a reputable homebuilder, building the city roads and sidewalks throughout the development, and getting buyers. A waiting list has been established and reservation agreements are in development.
 
Between Terrace Point Landing and Rooks' development of the 72-condominium High Point Flats just three blocks away, (285 W. Western Ave.) it could bring 142 new residences to downtown Muskegon. Rooks estimates that could bring 300 new residents to the region and $1.5 million in annual spending to the downtown.
 
To inquire about the properties or to get on the waiting list, email Brad Veneklase at Bradley@parklandgr.com.
 
Source: Jon Rooks, Terrace Point Landing, LLC
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
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