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Benton Harbor developers showcase study for potential development

“When I go to Florida, my husband and I, Vegas, we spend a lot of money. I don’t want to have to get up and go way over to Chicago to pay to get on a ferry or take a cruise up my beautiful lake. We can have that right here!” said Mary Alice Adams, Commissioner-At-Large, Benton Harbor.

Commissioner Adams is speaking in favor of the new vision presented in front of her at Monday night’s commissioner meeting in Benton Harbor.

Developers and designers have been collaborating and presented a visionary study which showcased the potential for new development possibilities in Benton Harbor with a vision of what the future of Benton Harbor could look like including commercial business, housing and restaurants along the harbor area.

The “study in potential” shows multiple different projects that are possible in multiple different jurisdictions totaling about 600 acres in and around Benton Harbor and St. Joe, Michigan.

“It’s really about rethinking the way the cities and county and township zone and the kind of planning they do around private and public land,” said John Egelhaaf, Executive Director of Southwest Michigan Planning Commission.

The collaborative project between multiple agencies including Prairie Real Estate Group, Andrews University, and the Southwest Planning Commission is still early in its stages, so dates have not yet been announced and budgets for the different parts of the project have yet to be discussed, but it made its first major appearance into the public eye Monday which is sure to get neighbors talking.

“it really is laying the groundwork, the platform for bringing in that type of investment,” said Peter Colovos, Principal at Prairie Real Estate Group.

“It’s got the water, it’s got all of those amazing thing that people recognize. Developers will be attracted to it,” said Egelhaaf.

Next step in this vision for the future is a meeting in June where design professionals will come together, gather more info, then present that back to the community at something like a town hall. Stick with ABC 57 news for updates on that.

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