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Progress for Manistee development brings questions from residents

Tuesday the two of eleven cottages were dropped onto the bases at the River Street location by a crane. The upper-level addition has been added to both buildings.

MANISTEE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- A new development in Downtown Manistee has raised some concerns with residents. This week, the Chippewa Cottages and Resort has brought in two of the new cottages on site.

The developer, Brice Bossardet with Virgin Soil International says he’s had his eyes set on the area for years.

“Downtown here is amazing, it’s walkable so basically coming into this I wanted this to be a destination point for people to invest in this great city,” Bossardet said.

Tuesday, the two of eleven cottages were dropped onto the bases at the River Street location by a crane. The upper-level addition has been added to both buildings.

Bossardet says in the past few days there have been dozens of critics, most of them on social media, complaining about the pre-fabrication of the homes.

“We’re here for two weeks hammering and that’s it, instead of your traditional site is here hammering for six, eight or twelve months.”

The first cottage will sell for nearly $360,000, the second will go for nearly $300,000.

The developer says other concerns he has heard from residents, were those prices for the cottages.

“If people actually sit back and look at what we have here I’ve got a 2,400-square-foot unit, that is luxury finished, that has a two stall attached garaged a large front porch to entertain, with an amenity package I’m putting that out there at 150 bucks a square foot,” Bossardet said.

Bossardet describes the development as an “urban cottage project” which is in walking distance to downtown, shops and restaurants, First Street Beach, the marina and the river walk. He says the amenities included in the gated community include a splash pad, volleyball court, putting green, fire pit and lounging area. The homes now on the site will use smart technology so owners can control lights, appliances, heat and air conditioning when they are not home.

“It brings you right through the urban core, what it does is it constantly reminds you, ‘Hey there’s a new coffee shop or a restaurant',” Bossardet said.

Last October, the city planning commission held a public hearing and approved the plan for the development. Since then the developer says he’s been eager to get the ball rolling.

Some business managers in the area say that while they are not too familiar with the plans at this point, they always welcome the chance of more business.

“I’ve heard people have some concerns and stuff but they have just started so this isn’t the finished project so there is still a lot more to be done and from the drawings it looks nice on paper it looks nice, so I have a positive feel for what’s going on,” said Jenni Carlson, the manager at Surroundings located on River Street, half-a-block from the Chippewa Cottages and Resort.

The developer says he plans to have an open house in the next month for anyone from the community to attend and get more information about the project.

“If you give something new something, something innovating something smart, refreshing, if you give it a chance, you might like it,” Bossardet said.

The two cottages at the site now will be completed in the next several weeks including the garages and porches for the buildings.

Construction for the splash pad and other amenities will begin shortly after that.

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