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drinsema-sybenga

Progress At Watermark

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People have been living at the WaterMark for over a year now, but folks still don't seem to know that this project is off the ground. Read the MIBiz article below to get caught up and share your thoughts about this gigantic undertaking by ANM Real Estate.

MIBiz Article

watermark.jpg

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I think it is a great project, and offers a residential option that Muskegon has definitely needed. My only gripe is the units seem kind of small for the price. Other than that, I like it.

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The WaterMark is a great example of reuseing a former industrial facility. I do wish the first phase of the development would have started on the lake facing side of the building. I know they want to save the best for last, but I fear with only 16 of the 53 units sold after a year on the market they won't ever get to the final phase. When I toured one of the units on Saturday it seemed really nice on the inside, but the unit had a view of a parking lot and a wall of one of the unimproved sections. I hope sales improve next year.

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Condo sales are down pretty much around the country, especially in urban areas (usually because they're more expensive/sf), so slow sales are probably not an indication of a poor exposure.

It sounds great though. What's the area like around the development? And have they had any takers for the 55,000 sf commercial area in phase III?

They have a cool flyby video on their website.

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For those of you who have not seen this place here is a before and after comparison. This is before renovation, and is the condition the unrenovated portions of the building are still in:

354395177_812ad50c8d_o.jpg

And here is the same side of the building after renovation:

354395182_9cbe4cd9e1_o.jpg

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Condo sales are down pretty much around the country, especially in urban areas (usually because they're more expensive/sf), so slow sales are probably not an indication of a poor exposure.

It sounds great though. What's the area like around the development? And have they had any takers for the 55,000 sf commercial area in phase III?

They have a cool flyby video on their website.

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Muskegon's Downtown WaterMark Lofts Plan to Add $1.8M Conference Center

I don't know why the Chronicle hasn't had an article about this yet. According to this article the second phase that was being marketed for commercial use is now going to be made into a conference center.

From the article:

In addition to meetings and conferences, Rooks expects to use the center for weddings, banquets, and other events. Multiple events can take place simultaneously because of the center's moveable, soundproofed walls that will change the large space to two or three smaller spaces. Amenities will include complete catering and bar services for up to 500 people, and a large porch for dining and relaxing.

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Unfortunately the developers of the Watermark will no longer be involved in running a new farmers market on Western. From what I understand Muskegon would have helped bring the market to the site by using money left over from a marina enhancement grant, but they found out that the grant money can not be used in such a way. There have been so many plans to move the farmers market over the last 15+ years, here is another one that can be scratched off. Maybe since the Hotrod guys didn't land that second dealership on their site the market can move there after all.

The second point I want to post is that the Watermark has put up a huge banner advertisement on the corner of their building. I must say it looks very good, and I'm a person who is usually a critic of ads. I wish I had taken a picture, the banner must be at least 30 feet tall and 20 wide, if not more! I look forward to the next phase of renovations to the building.

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The new plan for WaterMark's Phase III sounds pretty exciting.

WaterMark plans film, TV studios

The developers of WaterMark Center condos in Muskegon are partnering with a New York film company to create a multimillion-dollar production studio in their sprawling former factory building to support expected growth of Michigan's film industry.

The 17,000-square-foot production studio for films and commercials will include three major sound stages for film production with 52-foot-high ceilings for all types of production. The WaterMark Studio development will include ModernCine's mobile fleet of fully equipped lighting and production vehicles.

WaterMark Studios is currently being designed by Muskegon architect Gary Breen of Concept Design Studio. Rooks said company officials hope to have the film production studio operating by spring 2009.

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