The City of Muskegon is seeking proposal statements from qualified firms to purchase and develop the property located at 241-255 W. Western Avenue in downtown Muskegon, Michigan.
Request for Proposal Details
CITY OF MUSKEGON OWNED LOT
LOCATED AT 241-255 W. WESTERN AVE., MUSKEGON, MI
BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
Once the location of Muskegon’s Woolworth’s and Kresge department stores and, later,
the Muskegon Mall, the property is located in the heart of downtown Muskegon, where
the city’s shopping, restaurants, hotels, brew pubs, and entertainment are centered. The
site is across the street from the popular Muskegon Farmers Market, and adjacent to the
Highpoint Flats residential project. The property is also minutes from the shoreline of
Muskegon Lake and other recreational opportunities such as Heritage Landing (festival
grounds), Hackley Park, and the Lakeshore Bike & Pedestrian Trail. A short drive or bike
ride away are the sugar sand beaches and clear waters of Lake Michigan. There are
multiple areas of recent improvements at the site, including: paved roads, storm sewers,
sidewalks, water, sewer, electric, gas, curbs, street lights, and standard utilities.
The City of Muskegon’s objective is to sell the property to a private person/entity to be
developed for mixed-use. It is important that the proposed development contributes in a
positive way and generates activity in the revitalizing downtown area. It is preferred that
the ground floor contain a variety of active commercial uses such as retail, restaurant,
etc. The upper floor(s) should be reserved for market-rate residential housing, preferably
mid-market apartments (“affordable” market-rate for students, young professionals, etc.).
The possibility of utilizing federal funds (HOME and/or CDBG) exists with the inclusion of
a mixed-income housing component.
Due to its expansive street-frontage along W. Western Ave., should a single building be
proposed to occupy the entire site, it is favorable that the massing/facade of the building
give the appearance of multiple structures. This property once held as many as eight
buildings with a variety of interesting facades; that visual diversity is a desired trait in the
redevelopment of downtown Muskegon. It is also the City’s goal to partner on shared
parking in this area, but there are no minimum off-street parking requirements within the
Form Based Code district.
SITE BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION
The property has a total area of 14,489 sq. ft. (0.33 acres). Approximately 241.5 feet of
frontage exists along W. Western Ave; the lot extends 60 feet deep creating additional
frontage along Jefferson St. The lot was previously owned by Parkland Properties, and
was acquired by the City of Muskegon in November of 2016. The property is located in a
Renaissance Zone until 2023. The property is located in the Mainstreet (MS) Context
Area of the City’s Form Based Code, which allows for a mix of uses including, but not
limited to, retail, restaurants, offices, residential, indoor theaters, and micro-breweries.
The City recently completed an environmental assessment on the site, which is available
for review. Also available are drawings from a previous residential project proposed for
PROPOSAL SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:
All interested parties are invited to submit proposals to the City of Muskegon Planning &
Economic Development Department. Complete proposals will include the following:
A. Formal letter of interest on letterhead of principal purchaser/developer, if a
single entity, or the principal entity of the respondent, where the respondent is
a team. Such letter should be addressed to: Cathy Brubaker-Clarke, Director
of Community & Economic Development, 933 Terrace St., P.O. Box 536,
Muskegon, MI 49443-0536.
B. Identification of the Proposer/Business with Contact information. The
respondent should provide a description and general history of the individual,
firm, or entity that is anticipated to become the owner of record, and/or will
have primary responsibility for implementing the development proposal. The
respondent’s specific experience in implementing the type of project
proposed should be highlighted. Resumes and qualifications of the Project
Manager and other relevant staff shall be included.
C. Description of the Development Proposal. The respondent should provide a
description of the development proposal, including the following:
• Purchase price offered.
• Development plan and timetable for the future use of the property.
• Estimated cost of improvements and approximate schedule for
• Plans to attract tenants, if applicable; identify types of tenants to
• Proposed sources and uses of funds.
• Anticipated level of job creation.
D. Commercial or Trade References. The respondent (firm and principals) must
identify and describe any current, pending or threatened litigation against
them related to their business or real estate dealings. The respondent must
attest to having no litigation pending or contemplated against the City of
E. Obligations to the City of Muskegon. The respondent must attest to having no
outstanding or overdue tax, lien or fine obligations to the City of Muskegon.
F. The City of Muskegon may elect to deem a submission non-responsive if the
submission fails to comply with the specific requirements of this solicitation.
Please note that the offering price will not be the sole determinant in the sale of the
property. Other factors, such as, but not limited to those above, will be given
consideration. Prior to accepting any proposal, the successful developer will need to
provide evidence of their financial capabilities. The City reserves the right to reject any
and/or all proposals.
Proposals are due back to the City of Muskegon no later than January 27, 2017.
PROPOSAL REVIEW PROCESS:
The City shall review the proposals, through a committee process, request written
clarification from proposers, if necessary, and may select two or more proposers as
finalists. At the conclusion of the review process, the recommended proposal shall be
presented to the Muskegon City Commission for approval and request to enter into a
Purchase Agreement, as well as a Development Agreement for the property. The City of
Muskegon reserves the right to terminate this process at any point prior to the selection
for a proposer and solicitation of proposals in no way obliges the City to proceed with
Proposal Evaluation Criteria
The committee shall consider the following information when evaluating
submissions to determine the proposal that is in the best interests of City of
• Quality of the development proposal, with specific attention to
• Financial capability of the respondent to consummate the purchase and
proceed with the development proposal in a short timeframe
• Qualifications of the respondent to implement its development proposal
• Compatibility of the development proposal with site planning and Form
Based Code considerations and existing Downtown uses
• Financial benefit to the City of Muskegon, with consideration to purchase
price offered and future property tax generation potential of the real estate
and personal property and the benefits of the proposed use to the general
The committee may request supplemental information when it determines the
necessity, including business and personal financial statements from any of, all
of, or none of the respondents.
Please contact the City of Muskegon Planning & Economic Development Department at
the number listed below with any questions you may have.
All inquiries and proposals should be directed to:
Planning & Economic Development Department
933 Terrace Street
P.O. Box 536
Muskegon, MI 49443-0536
Phone: (231) 724-6702