2017-06-15 / Local News

Hearing set for proposed Elmwood hotel

And 28- slip marina
By Eric Carlson
Of The Enterprise staff


WEST BAY project developer Ron Walters, right, accompanied Leelanau County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority director Trudy Galla to a county Board of Commissioners executive meeting this week to discuss a public hearing that will be held just before next week’s County Board meeting regarding West Bay’s plan to construct a 118-room hotel and 28-slip marina on the site of a former petroleum depot in Greilickville. WEST BAY project developer Ron Walters, right, accompanied Leelanau County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority director Trudy Galla to a county Board of Commissioners executive meeting this week to discuss a public hearing that will be held just before next week’s County Board meeting regarding West Bay’s plan to construct a 118-room hotel and 28-slip marina on the site of a former petroleum depot in Greilickville. The Leelanau County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has set a public hearing for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the county Government Center to hear input on a plan to turn a former petroleum depot in Greilickville into a 118-unit hotel.

Also included in the plan is construction of a 28-slip marina on West Grand Traverse Bay.

During a discussion with the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners at its monthly executive meeting this week, developer Ron Walters, head of West Shore Partners, L.L.C., noted that he is not seeking a new brownfield plan but an amendment to a plan put in place for the same property in 2007.

Walters said that his original plan for the property was the first one considered by the Leelanau County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority in 2007 shortly after it was formed. He said the worldwide economic recession that began in 2008 resulted in the project being scuttled.

Walters and a group of investors have since reacquired the former Zephyr Oil property on 12.75 acres along S. West Bay Shore Drive in Elmwood Township and hope to begin developing their hotel and marina there beginning this summer. If everything goes according to plan, some hotel rooms may be available for rent as early as next summer, he said.

On Monday evening, Walters also appeared before the Elmwood Township Board for a public hearing on the same plan. If approved, Elmwood Township treasurer Deb Street would be required to adjust tax rolls to accommodate the “tax increment financing” that will help pay for environmental cleanup of the former petroleum storage site.

Under state law, the county Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is authorized to “capture” the difference in the taxable value of the property as it is today and the much higher taxable value that will be assigned to the property once it is fully developed. The captured taxes are used to pay for environmental testing, cleanup and other authorized activities on the property as it is redeveloped.

According to a project summary, up to $5.3 million in tax increment financing could be “captured” between this year and 2030. The proposed amendment to the brownfield plan approved in 2007 moved the end date of possible tax capture from 2022 to 2030 and included an update to which tax parcels would be included in the project.

The Elmwood Township Planning Commission last month reviewed and approved plans for the proposed hotel and is expected to conduct a review of plans proposed for the marina next Tuesday night – the same night of the county Brownfield Redevelopment Authority’s public hearing.

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