Muskegon-based Investment Group Purchases Waterfront Property for Redevelopment Project

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Pure Muskegon, a group of local businesses and community leaders, has finalized an administrative agreement to purchase and redevelop a 120-acre, waterfront site formerly owned by Sappi Paper Mill. The site is adjacent to the Muskegon Country Club and Lakeshore Trail.

The redeveloped one-mile stretch of waterfront property will be renamed Windward Pointe, and feature new housing, work spaces, commercial developments, and green space.

“Our goal is to position the property for a vibrant redevelopment that enhances the nearby neighborhoods, the connectivity to downtown and the entire Muskegon Lake basin, and will serve as a destination point not just in West Michigan, but for the entire Midwest,” says Wes Eklund, a founding member of Pure Muskegon.

He says the development of an elder living complex, condos, hotels, restaurants, offices, a residential community space with boating access, retail and service businesses, and water and land transportation, are all possibilities for the property.

The administrative agreement between the Michigan attorney general, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Sappi Paper Mill, Melching Demolition Co., and Pure Muskegon triggered the approval of a $1 million grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to assist in the cleanup of the property and redevelopment project.

“This is a shining example of redevelopment and reuse of a massive industrial site,” says Robert Wagner, deputy director of the MDEQ. “Through the administrative agreement, Pure Muskegon was able to purchase the property and work toward creating their vision of a vibrant, place-based project.”

Home to manufacturing companies since 1900, the property was sold by Sappi Paper Mill in 2011 to a demolition company after it ceased business in 2009. In 2013, Pure Muskegon began their efforts to acquire the property and rework deed restrictions that Sappi Paper Mill put in place in order to prevent the property from being used for any purpose aside from manufacturing and industrial services.

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