MUSKEGON — Muskegon city officials will consider a cooperative use agreement for a $250 million development involving 30 acres of Muskegon lakefront next week.
Developers Ryan Leestma and his wife, Emily Leestma, first announced plans for the Adelaide Pointe project in August 2021. Development plans call for luxury condos, a marina, restaurant, retail, event space and expanded trails and access that will be available to the public.
“We’re not taking away public access, we’re adding public access,” Emily Leestma told MiBiz. “People often get confused by that because we’re building on the waterfront, but this used to be a private business and in our plan we’re adding public access and park space.”
The city had previously approved a development agreement on Oct. 26, 2021 for the Adelaide Pointe project, but the developers changed the plans slightly, requiring an updated cooperative use agreement for construction to begin. The project is still seeking approvals from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Environment to proceed.
The Muskegon City Commission will consider the updated agreement during a Sept. 12 work session, and will address various property exchanges, how the property will be accessible to the public and funding for the project at the city commission meeting on Sept. 13.
The Leestmas first learned about the lakefront property along West Western Avenue in 2020. In March 2021, they purchased several parcels for the Adelaide Pointe project for about $5.5 million total. Doing business as Adelaide Pointe QOZB LLC, the Leestmas acquired the properties from Kirksey Investment Corp. and Shipyard Properties LLC.
Overarching plans for the development include adding an additional five residential buildings that will likely contain about 220 more condo units and 200-250 apartment units or hotel rooms. The south side of the property also has space for three more commercial buildings.
The developers have sufficient cash flow to allow construction to begin as soon as the project receives final approvals from the city and EGLE, Ryan Leestma told MiBiz.
The Leestmas are planning to sell one of their properties, the Grand Rapids Corporate Center located in the city of Wyoming, to free up some additional capital for the project, he said. Doing business as Leestma Management LLC, they purchased the property in 2017 for $5.5 million, and currently are under contract to sell it for $11 million, according to Leestma.
The Adelaide Pointe project also received several public grants, including $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, $1 million from the state of Michigan for including a public fishing pier in the development, and a $250,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant. As well, the developers say they have generated $18.5 million in reservations for the luxury condominium units planned for the site.
Plans for the marina at Adelaide Pointe include installing 200 dry slips and 72 transient slips, as well as 165,000 square feet of stacked winter boat storage.
The developers have made progress in securing retail tenants for the mixed-use aspect of the project next to the marina. Chicago-based Spring Brook Marina & Yacht Sales will be one of the retail tenants, while an event center and restaurant the Leestmas are planning to run will occupy the second floor if they find a general manager for the space.
The Leestmas also are purchasing Hartshorn Village and Marina, which is located next to the Adelaide Pointe project site, and expect to assume control of the operation next spring. The purchase makes sense in tandem with the Adelaide Pointe development, Leestma said. Having both marinas also will make it easier from a staffing perspective, and takes away a lot of the risk for Adelaide Pointe for finding employees, Leestma added.
“Now we can create a seamless experience all the way down the waterfront,” he said. “It will be one large waterfront community. Everything is going to run more smoothly and the revenue coming in will help offset development costs for Adelaide Pointe, everything just works better when we combine the two marinas.”