Thanks to a wide range of community development efforts and economic development efforts, Benton Harbor and the surrounding area has been revitalized in many positive ways. Over several years, this grass roots initiative, prioritizing diversity with inclusion, has involved over 3,500 citizens and leveraged a public/private coalition of local non-profits, corporate partners, the faith-based community, and many other Champions for Change. Through these efforts, downtown Benton Harbor has been transformed into a vibrant residential and retail community. Hundreds of lives have been positively changed through new public housing initiatives, expanded youth development programs, comprehensive social services, and new workforce development opportunities.
Despite the progress, chronic poverty still exists and much work remains in order to create a world-class community.
Many of the community partners responsible for these initiatives have collaborated to initiate the Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment project. Harbor Shores builds upon many past projects while creating additional opportunities to offer area residents. The goal of the project is to continue the economic, environmental and social/cultural transformation underway.
Harbor Shores is a 530-acre, mixed use development spanning parts of Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, and Benton Charter Township. It has been initiated to revitalize the community while protecting its natural beauty. Plans call for residential units, commercial space, marinas, up to two hotels, a conference center, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, the Midwest’s first Nicklaus Signature Golf Academy, a First Tee Clubhouse, 83 acres of new parks, green space and public waterfront access points as well as walking and bike trails along with various other amenities.
This development is a cooperative effort between the Consortium for Community Development , Cornerstone Alliance, Whirlpool Foundation, the cities of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, Benton Charter Township, Berrien County, the state of Michigan and others.