MUSKEGON, Mich. — Owners of the partially completed Watermark development near downtown Muskegon, who once had big plans for the old furniture factory, have put it on the market for $12 million.
Redevelopment of the formerly 1 million-square-foot Shaw Walker furniture factory, now known as The Watermark Center, began about 15 years ago. About 667,000 square feet remain after selective demolition, and about 492,000 square feet are undeveloped.
The development at 930 Washington St. includes apartments and condos, a coffee shop and an event center.
“Muskegon is booming, and we have 23 acres of prime real estate,” said Watermark President Sarah Sass. “With several developers working in Muskegon, it only makes sense to test the waters and see what type of interest is out there with regard to our property.”
The property is owned by P&G Holdings of New York.
The Watermark is across West Western Avenue from the planned Hartshorn Village condominium project adjacent to Hartshorn Marina on Muskegon Lake.
Nearby developments include renovated and new buildings that house condos, apartments, restaurants and retail. New single-family houses are going up in the downtown. There are plans for new mixed-use buildings, entertainment, hotels and more.
Millions of dollars have already been invested in the Watermark to create Watermark Lofts, Watermark 920 event center and The Coffee Factory, a cafe.
Previously announced plans included additional residential units, a restaurant, a concert venue, rooftop deck and an entertainment center with such features as laser tag, mountain biking, go-karts, a trampoline park and a bowling alley.
The Watermark Lofts was one of the first market-rate housing developments in downtown Muskegon’s resurgence after the demolition of Muskegon Mall in 2003. Efforts to redevelop the downtown have accelerated in the past couple of years.
“It’s business as usual with regard to the companies and housing we have created, and they will operate without interruption,” Sass said. “We are excited to keep the Watermark development moving forward and feel this is the best way to progress.”
The 33 apartments in the lofts are occupied and there’s a waiting list, according to the property listing with Core Realty. The Watermark 920 is booking events one to two years out. The Watermark also has office space and more than 100,000 square feet leased by manufacturer Knoll Corp.
The property is in the middle of an opportunity zone that provides tax incentives to developers.
Demolition of the oldest portion of the building at West Western Avenue and Division Street, except for a smokestack, concluded in the summer of 2018. At the time, Sass said she expected the next development phases to include residential and entertainment options.
“It’s a big one to wrap your arms around,” said listing agent Troy Wasserman of Core Realty. It’s his largest listing both in terms of price and square footage.
“There aren’t many that big — not around here,” he said.
Marketing materials include an entire website dedicated to the property.
“With Muskegon being on everyone’s radar with all the development happening in Muskegon, it makes sense for developers to consider their options,” Wasserman said. “When (the current owners) bought it, there was nothing going on here.”
Nearby developments include the Hartshorn Village condos across the street — ground hasn’t been broken on the project yet. New residents are moving downtown with the development of Highpoint Flats, Lake View Lofts, Berkshire Muskegon senior living, Terrace Point Landing, Heritage Square townhomes and Heritage Square Commons, the Amazon building, Terrace Flats Apartments and Western Place condos.
Other developments include the ongoing renovations of the L.C. Walker Arena, rebranding of the Delta Hotels by Marriott, the upcoming construction of a convention center, and the planned Leonard building, Jefferson Apartments and Foundry Square.
There’s a 120-acre site down the road known as Windward Pointe, 2400 Lakeshore Drive, that the current owners are looking to sell once they finish environmental remediation. The land, formerly home to Sappi Paper mill, is already cleared of buildings. The property has Muskegon Lake frontage.