New development project planned for old Sappi Paper Mill

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MUSKEGON, Mich. -- A huge new development project was announced Wednesday for the old Sappi paper mill.

The "Windward Pointe" project, announced by the Pure Muskegon investment group, will feature both housing and retail space.  The plan calls for more than $200 million to be spent on property acquisition and new construction.

Pure Muskegon, the group in charge of the development, envisions condos and single family homes, built along Muskegon lake. There could also be a hotel and resort, a marina, charter fishing, and water taxis. Developers say the sky is the limit, and they want to take advantage of the lake.

Housing options for the area could range from senior condos to single-family homes.   Commercial uses could include restaurants, shops, a hotel, offices and a marina.

Phase 1 is cleaning up the site, which will start immediately and is expected to take a few months to complete. The crucial part is removing the two big smokestacks that have asbestos in them. To help, there’s a million dollar grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

“There is some paint on the exterior of the stacks that contain somewhere between 2-3% asbestos. And the asbestos has to be removed from the stacks before the stacks can be taken down,” Eklund said.

The project should be a significant economic boost for the area. Property values will likely go up, jobs are expected to be created, and tourism should rise.

Built in 1900, the paper mill closed in 2009 and demolition destroyed most of it in 2013.

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