Brownfield Help Bolsters Condos

March 24, 2003
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HOLLAND — State approval of a financial assistance proposal to redevelop a brownfield site north of downtown Holland gives the $7 million condominium project a little more market viability.

The $608,130 generated through tax increment financing will finance the demolition of obsolete buildings that once housed roofing and building supply companies and a junkyard, to remove asbestos and to prepare the former landfill site for redevelopment. The package also provides financing to extend Fifth Street past Central Avenue to accommodate the project.

Without the state brownfield assistance, which is designed to encourage redevelopment of obsolete or contaminated sites, developer Bob Winter would have had to market the 28 high-end condominium units at a far higher price. The brownfield approval from the Michigan Economic Growth Alliance enables Winter, head of Fifth Street Partners LLC and Abode Development in Holland, to price the units so they appeal to a broader audience.

“It opens up the window a little further from the price standpoint,” Winter said. “It enables more people to be able to get into it.”

Winter has worked on the development for more than two and a half years. Site work began shortly after the state Economic Growth Alliance approved his brownfield request last week.

Initial occupancy of the first condominium units is targeted for the end of the year. Units start at $249,000 and run up to $349,000, Winter said.

The Fifth Street Partners development is the latest in what’s considered a new wave of development in and around the downtown Holland central business district that has seen new investments in excess of $110 million since the late 1980s. Recent developments include a new office/commercial building along Eighth Street on the east end of downtown, as well as the redevelopment of the former JB Labs building and new condominiums on Central Avenue by Lumir Corp. just north of downtown, as well as a new Seventh Street home for The Bank of Holland by Bayside Capital Management.

“This project, which has been affirmed by state officials, will help to encourage this continuing development, thus helping to make downtown Holland a vibrant and attractive place to live, work and play,” Holland Mayor Al McGeehan said.       

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