Edison Landing Work On Tap

    MUSKEGON — After years of planning and preparation, the much-heralded high-tech commerce and residential park on Muskegon Lake should begin rising in earnest this year.

    The park — to be built on land once occupied by a Teledyne Continental Motors factory — faces a Muskegon Lake bayou at the north end of the central business district.

    Three large residential/commercial projects are expected to begin construction in the spring on the 34-acre site, joining Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Education Center that opened last year.

    “The behind-the-scenes work is done,” said Chris Kelly, a partner in the Muskegon law firm Parmenter-O’Toole, whose partners are behind the project.

    “This will be a big year for us. This will be the year people say, ‘Hey, this is going to happen!’”

    While plans for the project have unfolded more slowly than expected, partially because of delays in extending the community’s Shoreline Drive, the development is now proceeding on track and “it’s going fine,” Kelly said.

    The partners in Parmenter-O’Toole, who are working on the project as Lakefront Development LLC, acquired the site in September 1999 with the intention of building a new law office.

    That idea blossomed into what is now Edison Landing, a state-designated SmartZone adjacent to downtown Muskegon that has become a key in plans to revitalize the central business district.

    The project is doubly ambitious in that it aims at creation of an entirely new economic sector locally in the research and commercialization of alternative energy technologies.

    Much of the focus thus far for Edison Landing has been planning out the development, addressing contamination issues, marketing parcels and recruiting developers.

    Public infrastructure was installed during the last year and the city of Muskegon is expected to complete work this summer on the extension of Shoreline Drive past the project site, clearing the way for construction on planned developments to begin.

    Work will also begin soon on a 1,460-foot boardwalk along the lakefront.

    Projects planned within Edison Landing are:

    • A three-level building for Parmenter-O’Toole that will include 20,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of commercial space;
    • Two three-story buildings with 42 luxury loft apartments on the upper floors and “boutique style” retail shops and professional office space on the first floors in a $7 million to $8 million project by Gillespie Development LLC of East Lansing;
    • Four six-floor condominium buildings with a combined 72 units planned by developer Gerald Seyferth.

    Kelly expects construction on all three projects to begin this spring.

    Lakefront Development has so far sold eight of the 16 parcels available in Edison Landing, Kelly said.

    He said he anticipates selling another two parcels by the end of 2004, making it “a good year for us.”    

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