Holland Waterfront Updates

Holland Waterfront Development

James De Young Update

Holland BPW has completed a full clean-up of the coal yard and ash ponds at the James De Young (JDY) site. The process involved removing soil that was impacted by coal or ash and replacing it with new soil. The Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) monitored the process and provided certification approval that the residual coal was removed and documented. Additionally, the staff demonstrated clean closure of the ash ponds in accordance with the Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Rule. Groundwater testing shows that coal and ash from JDY have not caused any contamination.

Waterfront Holland Update

The closure of the James De Young coal plant sparked an opportunity to utilize the downtown waterfront in new ways that enhance the community. In 2018, the City of Holland and Holland BPW embarked on an engagement process called Waterfront Holland. The community was called on to brainstorm ideas for a new waterfront vision. Waterfront Holland engaged the help of experts to maximize the potential of the vision. Partners in the project were Hitchcock Design Group, landscape architects, and SB Friedman, an economic and business advisory group.

The result of Waterfront Holland was a document that represents the core values and principles that define the concept of where Holland wants to go with waterfront development. It also created a lens for evaluating criteria moving forward that keeps the vision in focus. Learn about the vision at waterfrontholland.org.

RFQ Submission Requests

Early in 2021 a request for qualifications was issued, asking for development groups to submit their interests for evaluation. This is the first of two stages in the Waterfront Holland developer solicitation process. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) prequalified respondents based on their demonstrated ability to complete a development of similar scale and scope and financial capacity. Qualified respondents are then invited to participate in the second stage, the Request for Proposals (RFP), where respondents present their vision to implement a comprehensive redevelopment of the JDY Site.

RFQs were given two different options for how to approach development of the area. The first is to redevelop the JDY site for mixed use with public amenities. The other option involves a land swap to make development possible at another area along the waterfront. Most interest around this concept has focused on a swap between Verplank Dock and JDY. The land swap would place the mixed use area adjacent to Boatwerks and Kollen Park.

Three developers responded with RFQs and all were qualified to proceed to the proposal stage. Qualified proposals will be due in January 2022. Selection of the preferred developer is expected in the spring of 2022. The process may lead to a public vote regarding the sale of JDY.

Edgewater Resources of St. Joseph, Michigan

Proposed mixed-use options for both development approaches. Edgewater’s proposed concepts include public spaces, a promenade, residential, a Netherlands style canal with boat slips, and a dry stack marina.

GDK of Holland, Michigan

Submitted a proposal for a land swap. GDK’s proposed concept includes residential condominiums, a hotel, a marina, a restaurant, and cruise ship docking. Improvements to Kollen Park with expanded public spaces and a central square would also be included.

Great Lakes Capital of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Proposed developing the JDY site. Great Lakes Capital proposed the concept of a mixed-use arts and convention center. The project would include an extended-stay hotel with dining and meeting spaces, a convention center, a performance venue, an outdoor amphitheater, a waterfront pathway and park, a marina, a cruise ship dock, and parking.

Submission Overview