Developer breathes new life into blighted properties in downtown Spring Lake

General Press Release

For Immediate Release

Developer breathes new life into blighted properties in downtown Spring Lake

SPRING LAKE, MI – Four parcels that have sat quietly unused in the heart of Spring Lake’s downtown will be getting a new look and a new life.  What was formerly the Phoenix Café and before that Braak’s Bakery, along with the two buildings east of it, are slated to be demolished to make way for a 28,000-square-foot mixed-use development, thanks in part to a Brownfield Redevelopment Plan Amendment approved by Ottawa County on May 28, 2019. 

Village officials determined the long-vacant properties to be “blighted,” and that designation made them eligible for tax increment financing under a Brownfield Redevelopment Plan, as provided for by the Brownfield Redevelopment Act.  These Plans allow developers to capture a portion of the new taxes created by their investment to offset some of the extra costs associated with redeveloping blighted or contaminated sites.  Environmental consultant Roman Wilson, who prepared the Brownfield Plan for the project developer, Savidge Management LLC, commented “The tax increment financing tool is often a deciding factor as developers are performing due diligence in site selection. If they can defray some of the extra costs associated with brownfield redevelopment in order to get the location they really want, then everybody wins – developer, taxpayers, and local government.” The tax increment financing will help offset a number of eligible costs associated with the redevelopment project, including demolition, which got a little help from an unexpected electrical fire that occurred during demolition on June 4.  The fire was quickly managed, and demolition was completed without further incident.  Wilson said that the project is expected to be complete by the summer of 2020 and  projected to increase the taxable value of these parcels by almost $1.4 million in the first year. In addition to the tax revenue benefits, the project managers have estimated that 15-30 new jobs could be created to staff the retail shops and café that are planned for the venue.     

  Epicurean Rendering

The Epicurean Village Redevelopment Project (rendering pictured above) will be the fifth Brownfield Plan amended to Ottawa County’s Countywide Brownfield Redevelopment Plan, and the second of those five projects to be located in the Village of Spring Lake. The Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (OCBRA) works cooperatively with cities, villages, and townships located in the County to stimulate the redevelopment of underutilized or contaminated sites. The OCBRA has developed a new Brownfield Incentive Program this year, and when it launches, they expect to see even more Amendments to the Countywide Redevelopment Plan. This program will offer small financial incentives to eligible projects to defray the costs of Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments.

For more information about the Epicurean Village Redevelopment Project, brownfield redevelopment, or the Brownfield Incentive Program, contact the OCBRA at 616.738.4852,, or by visiting


Media Contact: 

Becky Huttenga | Economic Development Coordinator | | 616-970-0679