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Harbor Shores development construction under way

December 17, 2009 - By Kristin Bien, WSBT.com


It may not look like much now, but soon the development along Lake Michigan will be transformed into a residential paradise. (WSBT photo)
Developers are excited that construction is finally under way on the multimillion dollar Harbor Shores development in the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor area.

Harbor Shores is promised to be a destination community. But the question remains, will buyers feel the same way?

It may not look like much now, but soon the development along Lake Michigan will be transformed into a residential paradise.

"There is a nice combination here of having river frontage, golf frontage and just underneath this bridge is Jean Klock park," explains Ron Eng, as he drives through the development. Eng is Harbor Shores' marketing director.

Developers of Harbor Shores say the project will feature 800 residential units -- a mix of multi-family homes, condos and single family homes.

But there is concern whether buyers will be interested.

"In this market the important thing is financial stability and being able to see it all the way through. We are confident we are going to be able to do that," says Mark Hesemann, Harbor Shores managing director.

About 58 single-family home lots are nearly ready for construction. Twenty-seven of those are already being marketed and 13 have been reserved. Developers see that as a good sign.

"We like water. We have the best of both worlds. We have the lake and the Paw Paw river," says Ken Clifford.

Ken and Connie Clifford are purchasing a home in Harbor Shores. They did a lot of research and feel confident buying there is a good investment.

"We think this is one of the developments around the country that has legs. It brings a vitality to the region," says Clifford.

Developers hope what attracted the Cliffords to this lot, will attract other buyers to the area as well. By the project's end, developers will have spent $90 million. Which they say, will lead the way to millions more in real estate investment.

Developers say Harbor Shores fulfills a demand in that area. They admit the economy has scared some people, but they're confident all the units will sell.

Construction on the first phase of houses has already begun, and all 18 holes of the golf course will be open this summer.

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