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Community Foundation to be first investor in waterfront condo project

Posted on January 11, 2016

Wolfson ProjectThe Community Foundation of St. Clair County has agreed to be the initial investor in a waterfront condominium project being planned for the site of the former YMCA in Port Huron, Michigan.  The redevelopment of the vacant site is recognized as a top 10 regional economic priority by the Blue Meets Green initiative.

The Waters Edge multi-phase condominium project is being developed by Robert Wolfson, who has developed multiple residential projects in Ferndale and Royal Oak. Mr. Wolfson entered into a purchase agreement with the City of Port Huron for the waterfront property in 2015 at a price of $950,000. 

Bill Schwarz, chair of the Community Foundation’s finance & investment committee, said the Foundation has agreed to be the first local investor through its Community Capital Club (C3) and has set aside $110,000 for the investment. Those funds were contributed by members of C3.

Wolfson is seeking a total of $1.1 million from local investors and is finalizing a construction loan from a local bank to complete the financing of phase one.

According to plans submitted by Wolfson, phase one of the project will cost more than $5 million and will build 22 condominiums along with a pool and common spaces for future phases. Future phases would add 45 additional units. The planned development would be the first new large-scale waterfront home construction in more than a decade in Port Huron, and construction could begin in the 3rd quarter of 2016. 

“This investment is through our Mission Related Investment program,” Schwarz said. “The Community Foundation of St. Clair County has a total investment pool of approximately $45 million and recently our Community Capital Club has begun looking for investments within our region.”

Dan Casey, president of the EDA and a member of the Blue Meets Green Leadership Council, said, “Developers like Mr. Wolfson like to see that local stakeholders are willing to step forward and be investors. The Community Foundation is sending out an important message with their investment. They’re telling the public that they believe in this project and are willing to invest in it.”

In recent years the Community Foundation has completed and owns the Blue Water River Walk, which is almost one-mile of St. Clair River Shoreline, and is nearing completion on its new office building in downtown Port Huron.  It also owns and recently developed the new courtyard of the Riverview Shopping Plaza in the heart of downtown St. Clair.

“We remain committed to all of our downtowns and our waterfront assets,” said Randy Maiers, president of the Community Foundation.  “Making this investment is another indication of our plans to utilize all of the Foundation’s assets and resources to help grow our regional prosperity.”

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