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Revitalization of downtown Muskegon a "paradigm shift" says chamber president, as attention now shifts to Muskegon Lake

 Crews have already begun working on Harbor 31 off Muskegon Lake, a new mixed use development
Daniel Boothe
Crews have already begun working on Harbor 31 off Muskegon Lake, a new mixed use development that will live on a once industrialized property

Economic Summit includes discussion of several new developments in the works on the lake's shoreline

Highlighting several, multi-million dollar developments on Muskegon Lake, business leaders and city officials Friday morning gathered for the 2023 Muskegon County Economic Summit.

Business leaders say, the future is bright in downtown Muskegon, a city that has seemingly transformed itself over the past 10 years. Where an empty mall once stood is now a bustling and revitalized downtown corridor filed with new development; the crown jewel being the new, $21 million dollar VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center, which also served as the location for this year’s summit.

With the room filled with officials behind the Watch Us Go campaign who dreamed big years ago about what Muskegon could look like one day, to have this year’s summit at the new convention center represented a “mission accomplished,” says Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber President Cindy Larson.

“It truly is a paradigm shift, we have done so much,” Larson said. (But,) we have to get our heads around this, appreciate it, (and) celebrate it."

Officials say however, the revitalized downtown corridor is just the beginning, as lawmakers and developers are now dreaming big about Muskegon Lake.

At the summit, City Manager Jonathan Seyferth presented several developments that are already in the works, each costing in the hundreds of millions of dollars, including Adelaide Pointe, Harbor 31 and the Docks Development.

Is there fear however among officials that the city has bitten off more than it can chew? City Manager Seyferth rejected that idea when asked.

“I don’t think so, because they are all in different (stages) of development,” Seyferth said. "These projects all have high quality developers who are going to see these things through to the end."

Chamber President Larson agreed, saying that these developments are not going to happen all at once, but over the course of the next ten years, around the same time it took to revitalize downtown.

Until then, she says, it might be good to sit back, and appreciate how far the city’s already come.