|Harbor Shores Fact Sheet||| Print ||
Harbor Shores will serve as an enabler for community transformation by producing significant economic impact through job creation and increased local tax base in each of the three impacted communities. This financial impact will come from new development in both residential and commercial space, as well as increased consumer spending. More importantly, the resort like amenities in the Harbor Shores development will serve as the vehicle to attract new businesses to the area.
Harbor Shores will also restore beauty to a pristine area of Lake Michigan’s waterfront through the proposed restoration of Jean Klock Park, the environmental remediation of brownfields, and the preservation of wetlands. Outdoor activity will be promoted through an extensive trailway system featuring walking and bicycle trails, new boat launches along the Paw Paw River, the new Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf course, as well as other amenities.
What is the Harbor Shores Development?
Harbor Shores is a 530-acre, mixed-use development that spans parts of the cities of Benton Harbor & St. Joseph and Benton Charter Township in the lower southwest corner of Michigan. Current plans include residential units, commercial space, a Jack Nicklaus Signature public golf course, marinas, parks and new green space, walking and bike trails along with various other amenities and create the opportunity for up to two hotels, a conference center and indoor water park.
Who is Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment, Inc.?
Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment, Inc. is a non-profit entity formed to serve as master developer for the Harbor Shores project. As a corporation, HSCRI is owned by three non-profit organizations, each with broad community membership and diverse governance structures that have established relationships and project successes within our communities: Whirlpool Foundation, the Alliance for World-Class Communities and Cornerstone Alliance. HSCRI is managed by the Board of Trustees, which includes representatives of this ownership group as well as from the Citizens’ for Progressive Change and the Council for World Class Communities.
Why is Harbor Shores a good development opportunity for the communities?
Harbor Shores is a unique opportunity to revitalize the Benton Harbor and St. Joseph community and transform the area from a quaint Twin Cities area along Lake Michigan’s waterfront to take its place among the premier vacation destinations in the Midwest. Harbor Shores will help enable the community to begin a process to reverse declining populations, shrinking county-wide school enrollments and manufacturing job losses that have burdened our communities for the past several decades.
Many communities have used a major recreation development as an anchor to attract new employers and create new job opportunities. Unlike other projects, this development is part of an overarching strategy implemented by the not-for-profit organizations who own Harbor Shores to go beyond growth and create a better quality of life for area residents. The strategy that is outlined in the Community Benefits Plan includes new affordable housing throughout Benton Harbor, a commitment to fund renovation of existing homes, access to literacy and job training, financial and technical assistance for new small businesses coupled with strengthening ongoing partnerships with area schools.
During construction and development, Harbor Shores is projected to have economic impact in the following areas: job creation (direct & indirect); new consumer spending; increase in area residents; and increase in utility customers. New residential and commercial space is projected to increase the local tax base of Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, and Benton Charter Township.
In addition, Harbor Shores will provide significant investments in environmental clean up, enhance the arts district and add recreation/entertainment opportunities, retail establishments and office space to the community.
When does construction begin?
The Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course will be the centerpiece of the development, the management team of HSCRI is committed to celebrating a grand opening of the golf course in the summer of 2009. Construction of the golf course is currently underway and progressing each day. It will take approximately 12 months to sculpt the course and then about one year for the grasslands and landscaping to be ready for golfers.
Infrastructure improvements throughout the project area are scheduled to begin once the final permits are obtained. The proposed improvements include the enhancement of Jean Klock Park, walking trails, new marinas, and road construction. Project infrastructure improvements will continue through September of 2011.
Additional proposed improvements include Jean Klock Park will be expanded by over 40 acres that will connect to the beach by a linear path and trailway system. This linear system will enhance the overall recreational viability of the park and the community by creating world-class park amenities that will be free to the public and easily accessible. Amenities of this park system will include viewing platforms, bike racks, picnic tables, benches, trash receptacles, grills, boat launches, and canoe/kayak launches.
Construction of the residential development is scheduled to begin as soon as possible, and several facets of the project are expected to come online in 2009. The residential units will be built, sold and occupied over several years, and build-out of the residential construction should be completed by 2019. Additionally, as the development creates the demand from increased tourism and business locations HSCRI is planning for up to two hotels to be included as part of the project.
What is the Community Benefits Plan?
The Community Benefits Plan will help individuals realize their potential, prepare residents for a competitive job market, offer our youth a future, and provide citizens with assistance in building that future.
Will Benton Harbor or Saint Joseph be liable for repayment of any of the debt raised to pay for the public infrastructure?
No. Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment, Inc., the project’s master developer, will secure financing for the infrastructure. Harbor Shores will be the party responsible for repaying the debt. Neither Benton Harbor nor St. Joseph will be liable for repayment of the debt.
What does the Harbor Shores project mean to our communities when it comes to the generation of new tax base?
The project has the potential to significantly increase the real property tax base for Benton Harbor and St. Joseph as well as Benton Township, Berrien County and the state of Michigan. New residential and commercial space is projected to increase the local tax base as follows:
A successful Harbor Shores development brings in new revenues to the area beyond property tax revenues. In addition to water and sewer revenues, new residents who are attracted to the area means new children will attend our public schools and as a result, generate between $6500-$7300 per student in additional state funding. The local governments receive considerable revenues from building permits and inspection fees from new construction and growth of population and new dwelling unit’s results in increased state revenue sharing and road funds for the local municipalities.
The county will also see increased tax revenues from the project. The state of Michigan will also benefit from the project as it will generate more than just new property taxes, it will also generate additional sales tax, revenue sharing and public infrastructure dollars. The project will additionally aid area schools as new residents locate in the community.