By Tony Wittkowski | Local Government Reporter | The Times Herald
The Port Huron City Council approved the amended Brownfield plan for the Water Street marina project.
In its last February meeting, the council held a public hearing for residents to address their concerns on the plan submitted Dec. 3 to the city, which outlines $18 million in investment, including two hotels and one restaurant.
“The expansion investment went from a $9 million plan to an $18 million investment,” City Manager James Freed said. “So, that means more jobs and more money invested in the community.”
Following the public hearing, the council approved the plan by a 6-0 vote.
The project is broken into three phases — a Holiday Inn Express, a restaurant and a second hotel, with each phase dependent on the success of the previous project.
According to the draft plan submitted in December, the hotel and restaurant developments will create at least 17 full-time positions at each hotel, 25 part-time positions at the restaurant and more than 50 construction jobs per project phase.
The developer, Amerilodge, estimated about $7.6 million of its investment in the property will be eligible for reimbursement under the Brownfield Redevelopment program.
“It’s going to be the newest generation prototype, and we are very excited about this,” said Jerry Flannery, director of business development for Amerilodge. “We plan on having a restaurant on site. We hope to deliver the first hotel by fall.”
Freed said the amended plan expands the scope of the project’s work. What was originally one hotel is now two hotels and a restaurant.
“What’s exciting about this development is the credibility of the developer — this is not their first rodeo,” Freed said. “There have been a lot of false starts on projects in Port Huron; what’s important for our community to know is you guys are well on your way.”
Freed gave a brief report on the state of the project as construction crews have begun underground work, completing utilities and steel structures.
Mayor Pauline Repp and council member Ken Harris said the council is looking forward to seeing the final product.
“I just want to thank you for coming down here. I guess the most amazing thing is it being a new prototype,” Harris said to Flannery. “We can’t wait to see it.”
Council member Rachel Cole was not present for the meeting.
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Feb. 24, 2015)