Muskegon approves $250m Adelaide Pointe lakeside development deal


MUSKEGON — A local developer’s $250 million plan to redevelop 30 acres of lakefront property on Muskegon Lake has cleared another hurdle in the approval process.

The Muskegon City Commission approved a cooperative use agreement for the Adelaide Pointe project at its September 13 meeting. The developers of the Adelaide Point project are the husband and wife team, Ryan and Emily Leestma, doing business as Adelaide Pointe Qozb LLC.

The Leestmas first announced plans in August 2021 for Adelaide Pointe, which includes the construction of luxury condos, a marina, restaurant, retail, event venue and the expansion of the footpath and public access along the shore.

The city previously approved a development agreement for the project in October 2021, but the developers changed the plans slightly, requiring an updated cooperative use agreement for construction to begin. The developers made some small changes to the development agreement based on public and commissioner feedback on the plan at a special meeting on September 12. The changes included the clarification that Adelaide Pointe would not have exclusive use of the city-owned property that forms part of the project site, but it will be able to use the property to operate its boat launch and mooring facilities.

The project must now receive the approval of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Environmental. EGLE is accepting public comments on the plan until September 20.

“This agreement outlines how we will share ownership and make some private property public,” said LeighAnn Mikesell, acting city manager of Muskegon. “There will be additional steps after that which will be more about the brownfield agreement, and then we (will approve) the project in phases and bring you one phase at a time.

At the meeting, a few community members expressed concern that the project would have a negative effect on the environment, potentially undoing decades of remediation work to remove Muskegon Lake from the list of Areas of Concern. the US Environmental Protection Agency.

“With the transparency and willingness to be transparent, which I think I’ve shown, I think we can make sure we keep everyone calm and do something transformative and good for the city,” Ryan Leestma said. to the Commissioners at the meeting.

Leestma explained that the marina portion of the project would require dredging in the lake basin, but the team would remove invasive plant species in the process and replant the area with native species.

“What we’re removing from the bottom is foundry sand,” Leestma said. “It’s not historic bottom sand, it’s a by-product of the industrial process. Nothing of high nutritional value can grow there right now. I purposely plant native species on the lowlands and sink logs and things that will help native species and fish live there.

The site plan also calls for the cleanup of wetlands on the property’s peninsulas to the tune of $1.5 million, which will involve the addition of native species, Leestma said.

“What’s happened in the past is that people have done what they wanted to benefit their wallets at the expense of the environment and at the expense of people, and we all know that doesn’t work. “, said Leestma. “There is no dichotomy between doing what is right for the public and the environment and making money. I absolutely think we can do all of those things.

The city plans to host a public forum to discuss the Adelaide Pointe project and other developments that are beginning to gain momentum in the area, Muskegon Development Services Manager Jake Eckholm said.

“I plan to work with various community groups,” Eckholm said. “There’s plenty of room for a concerted public engagement effort at this point.”

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