GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A proposal to build a new farmers’ market, stores and restaurant along Grand Haven’s Chinook Pier was presented to the community Thursday.

Geerlings Development-Midwest Construction Group and Architektura answered questions about their vision for Chinook Pier, which is currently a green space. The pier previously housed a series of shops which were demolished due to mold problems.

“I was told there were several who would like to move to this location,” said Scott Geerlings of Geerlings Development-Midwest Construction Group.

(A concept rendering by Architektura shows what the proposed retail space at Grand Haven’s Chinook Pier could look like.)

Geerlings and its development partners stressed that their $2.5 million proposal was conceptual and could change based on feedback. The current plan includes the construction of approximately 11,000 square feet of retail space for six stores, a 7,000 square foot commercial building that can be used for a farmers market and events, a potential gas fireplace and a play space; and a restaurant, which was at the top of many community members’ wish lists, according to city leaders.

The proposed restaurant would be near Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium and the paddling pool. Geerlings said a group of restaurants “very familiar with Grand Haven” are interested in opening a year-round dining concept there.

“It would not be high-end gastronomy. It would be more of a family and fun atmosphere,” he said.

Geerlings said the development team will work with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to secure a community development grant to keep retail rental rates in line with what they were before the Chinook Pier stores were demolished.

produce building walls lined with buyer silhouettes
(A concept render by Architektura shows what the proposed Farmers’ Market at Grand Haven’s Chinook Pier might look like.)

Parking issues came up most often during the Thursday afternoon forum. Grand Haven Community Development Manager Jennifer Howland said the city’s concept plan includes public parking along the waterfront in addition to public parking and municipal parking near the apartment complex. Peerless Flats being built across the street.

An Architektura employee said the proposed farmer’s market would be slightly larger, meaning the town would likely lose a row of parking spaces. But she said the rolling doors would allow tankers to enter the building to drop off products.

One-story beige apartment building with overhead glass doors and vehicles parked outside
(A concept render by Architektura shows what the Chinook Pier Farmer’s Market building could look like.)

For a year, the city gathered community feedback on how the Chinook Pier should be used, which led to the Beyond the Pier Waterfront Master Plan. Howland said the waterfront master plan “recognizes the connection to our waterfront and downtown” with a call for year-round amenities and public spaces. The guidelines for the redevelopment of Chinook Pier also call for limiting single-story buildings with a mezzanine, similar to what previously existed.

one-story brown building with overhead glass garage doors
(A concept rendering by Architektura shows what the proposed mixed-use building for the Farmers’ Market at Grand Haven’s Chinook Pier could look like.)

Howland said there were no plans to alter the mini golf course or remove the fish cleaning station already along the waterfront.

The city has sent out invitations to over 300 developers to submit their proposals for Chinook Pier based on the master plan guidelines. A local offer came from the team of Abonmarche, Architektura PLC and Geerlings Development Co.-Midwest Construction Group Inc.

Map with red shaded outlines of a retail market and a restaurant
(A site plan offered by Abonmarche shows what the redeveloped Chinook Pier in Grand Haven might look like.)

Howland warned that the development is “not a done deal”. Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis said the next steps are discussions with city council on “what they think is the right mix” and an appropriate project timeline, as well as determining funding. audience of the project and collecting community feedback.

McGinnis said he doesn’t expect construction at Chinook Pier to happen in 2022.

“I think we’re going to spend this year fine-tuning the details and getting the project perfect, so it seems like people mostly want to make it look like it. We’re not going to make everyone happy, but as much as we can, and we’re doing that by listening very carefully right now, so please keep giving us your feedback,” he said. he said during Thursday afternoon forum.

Geerlings said that if approved, the entire project proposed by his development team would take about a year.

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