O’Connor Development LLC and A.J. Veneklasen Inc. formed a joint venture to develop the proposed South Haven Center in downtown South Haven. O’Connor Development LLC and A.J. Veneklasen Inc. formed a joint venture to develop the proposed South Haven Center in downtown South Haven. COURTESY RENDERING: R2 DESIGN GROUP

GR firms partner on $4.5 million mixed-use project in downtown South Haven

BY Monday, April 22, 2019 11:16am

SOUTH HAVEN — A $4.5 million mixed-use project is in the works for downtown South Haven.

South Haven Center LLC includes 18 residential units, retail or commercial space and resident parking on a vacant parcel at the corner of Center Street and Huron Street.

The project is a joint venture between Grand Rapids-based O’Connor Development LLC and general contractor A.J. Veneklasen Inc., also of Grand Rapids.

According to the contractor, the development will provide “much needed” modern market-rate apartments in downtown South Haven.

“We saw an area where we felt we could utilize our company’s experience and talents,” Chris Veneklasen, president of a.j. Veneklasen, said in a statement. “Our staff is eager to take on this project and we hope this is the first of many similar opportunities.”

The partners aim to have the South Haven Center completed by fall of this year.

Grand Rapids-based R2 Design Group PLLC designed the project, which is being financed by First National Bank of Michigan.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. awarded the project a $750,000 performance-based grant via the Michigan Community Revitalization Program.

In a statement, the MEDC said the project will increase density in South Haven as well as “promote walkability in the downtown area as well as reactivate and increase the taxable value of a currently vacant lot.”

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