F or the first time , the new owner of the massive vacant lot in Petoskey known as Petoskey Pointe is talking about his plans for development.
G rand Rapids business man Elias Amash says he wants this property to become a beautiful gateway to downtown.
I t's no secret that the development of this city block has been an ongoing struggle.
F or years this vacant hole in the ground has seen a number of possible suitors , but no one has succeeded in buying and developing it, that is until now.
" I can talk all I want to, talk is cheap and time is expens ive," Amash said. " I'm not here just to give you a bunch of words i've got to prove myself and hopefully I will."
The 41-year-old entrepreneur realizes that fixing this eyesore is no easy task.
" We are not trying to build some monstrosity or anything like there were trying to do previously ," Amash explained. "I t was just out of scale , out of whack , or whatever word you want to use , it was just entirely too big for northern Michigan ."
A ccording to cou nty records, he bought the property for $2.1 million on December 30 of last year.
W hile there are no concrete plans for the project at this point, he did say there is potential for a hotel, restaurant, and parking on the property.
" I think there is some general agreement that businesses would like to see some kind of development, something that will bring some sort of economic vitality to downtown," Carlin Smith, Petoskey Area Chamber of Commerce Director said.
T he city and area business leaders have been in constant communication with Elias Amash since the purchase.
" My impression is that he is just very solid businessman and also has a very genuine affection for Petoskey and that was very encouraging ," Smith noted.
A nd while there is a lot of excitement surrounding this purchase , there are also just as many doubts.
W hich Amash says he understands, considering the property's long history.
" This is not a sprint , it's a marathon," Amash said. "Everybody expects somebody to hurry up and put a shovel in the ground and get something done, and I want to more than anything in the world believe me, but I don't want to hurry up and just do this."
A mash admits he doesn't have any prior experience in development , but he says he will do his best to surround himself with people who do.
A t this point there is no timeline on when the first set of plans will be released to the public.