Berrien Hills Golf Course may be redeveloped into riverfront community

NOW: Berrien Hills Golf Course may be redeveloped into riverfront community

NEXT:

ST. JOSEPH TOWNSHIP, Mi. -- A new riverfront community is being planned right on the grounds of the historic Berrien Hills Golf Course, which was established back in 1924. 

The property, which has sat unused for nearly three years, was the site of banquets, dances, weddings, and-- of course-- golfing.

Now, the wild and untamed green is planned to be the site of the new Berrien Hills Community, developed by Southwestern Michigan Coastal Ventures.

Michael Wood said “We’re planning on a mixed used development on the hundred acres. We’re going to start by digging and dredging a thirteen acre lake, connected to the river, giving us river access from the lake. Surrounding the lake on the south side will be residential, townhomes, single family homes and row homes, senior villas and also apartments," said Development Director Michael Wood. "If we’re successful doing what we’re planning on doing-- and I think we will be—we could have seven-hundred to one-thousand people living here when we’re done.”

The thirteen-acre lake will also feature a marina for boaters to dock at-- as well as restaurants, a brewery, an event center and a park-- for all to enjoy. 

“There will be walking trails, there will be winter activities, ice skating—a number of activities. The public will still be invited to come and walk on the property and enjoy its beauty," said Mark Miller, an attorney representing the project. 

Being located so close to the river, sixty-six acres of the property are in a floodplain-- however, Wood told me that flooding should not be an issue once the project gets underway. 

“We spent about three months and an extensive amount of money in geo-technical investigation, bathymetric survey on the river, and we did about thirty soil bearings here, so we know what’s under that ground and we know how to deal with it and build and mitigate any kind of flooding. It won’t be a flood zone any longer," he said."

Miller added "The lake will greatly help with that and help take care of the flooding issues.”

The plan was presented to the St. Joseph Township Planning Commission, who received it positively, though there are still some more steps before it is fully approved. 

Miller was a member of the Berrien Hills Golf Club for years; now he's excited to see it get new life. 

“I love that we’re able to rehabilitate Berrien Hills," he said. "And to have the opportunity to bring it back and turn it into a hub in our community is a great thing. I’m very excited about it.”

The current hope is to begin dredging the lake in 2024-- in time for the 100th anniversary of Berrien Hills's establishment. 

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