Residential Project Starts Soon

February 13, 2004
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HOLLAND — One of the largest developments the Holland area has ever seen will break ground this spring, as developers start excavation for what will eventually become an 18-hole golf course surrounded by hundreds of homes.

Macatawa Legends — to lie north of Holland and west of U.S. 31 — ultimately will encompass more than 800 acres that cross the boundaries of four townships.

The plans envision a self-contained community consisting of more than 700 single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums in varying sizes and styles, two golf courses, two clubhouses and other amenities that would rise over the next decade out of what are now nursery and farm fields.

The development group behind the project, Partners Fore Development, says it will begin excavation as soon as the weather allows. The initial goal is to have the golf course built and seeded by this fall, in preparation for a spring 2005 opening, as well as two large ponds dug, and roads and public infrastructure installed.

Partners Fore Development says the recent approval of project plans by Holland Township gave enough mass needed to proceed with the development. Park Township earlier approved its portion of the project.

A majority of the acreage and about 500 of the 700-plus planned housing lots — plus the 18-hole golf course and a clubhouse — are in Holland and Park townships. Holland Township’s approval earlier this month was “the golden nugget” the development group needed to move forward, said Tom Welling, vice president of Prins Development-Construction.

“Getting that much done is huge,” Welling said. “There’s now enough critical mass in those areas.”

The Holland-based construction and development firm, owned by Cal Prins, is a partner in the development.

Macatawa Legends will offer a variety of housing styles in varying price ranges, from starter homes to large, high-end executive homes overlooking the ponds.

Welling anticipates that Partners Fore Development will begin marketing housing lots this fall. Early interest so far, he said, “is pretty good.”

Architecturally, the project will feature a design style from the 1920s and 1930s. It will follow the themes of the former Macatawa Hotel and Ottawa Beach hotels that lined Lake Macatawa during Holland’s heyday in the early 20th century as a resort community that attracted thousands of visitors a year from Chicago.

The project site covers acreage to the west of U.S. 31, where Holland, Park, Olive and Port Sheldon townships meet, an area that’s just north of some of the fastest growing stretches of Ottawa County and the Holland area, now dotted with several blueberry and nursery fields.

Macatawa Legends, beyond a restaurant planned for a clubhouse, does not include any commercial development, nor is Partners Fore Development planning any at this time, although it’s reasonable to conclude that other developers may bring commercial projects forward around the periphery, Welling said.

“With that many home sites in this area, you have to think something is going to come up,” he said. “I would say it’s just a matter of time.”

Development of the project within Holland and Park townships will occur over a period of years.

Planning for acreage in neighboring Port Sheldon and Olive townships, which are more rural than Park and Holland, will continue. The development group has yet to formulate master plans for the Port Sheldon and Olive acreage, Welling said.

Market response to the initial phases in Park and Holland townships will dictate what ultimately happens with the remaining acreage and when, Welling said.

“It just depends on how these (first) sections go,” Welling said.

Final plans for the northern sections of the development could take anywhere from two to five years to finalize, he said.    

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