Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Boathouse Bay Development in Silver Bay

In previous articles, I expressed the frustra­tion experienced by those who want to spend time in Silver Bay riding ATVs or participating in the Lake Superior Salmon Classic Fishing Tournament or to attend Bay Days, etc., but cannot find a place to stay. It perked my ears when I heard about the potential solution that is in process of approval. Hearing from a reader that hoped to learn more about the development plans for the Lake Superior shore, I reached out to David Drown, Silver Bay’s Director of Eco­nomic Development, who was able to tell me more about it.

The Boathouse Bay project has been in the works for a couple years. The development is slated to include fifty-five dwelling units that may be short-term rentals, vacation housing, and some may be for sale. One hundred and ten storage units will be built along the highway, storage being a large need in the area.

Last summer, bids that would construct the utility improvements to serve the area came in high. At that time, a decision was made to post­pone. This summer is a bit of a different story.

“I think the City Council wisely has looked at this stuff in the past but postponed any ac­tion until everything kind of comes together and I think that’s what’s happening here,” Da­vid said. “We have a package that’s all ready to move forward.”

On June 20th, bids were redone. Unfortunate­ly, the amounts were comparable to the previous bids. The Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources considered the $600,000 funding gap and looks to be approving $500,000. This will bring the funding close enough to move forward.

The land used for the development is a com­bination of a two-acre plot owned by the de­veloper and twenty city-owned acres that have been reserved for an industrial park that never materialized. The development will include six-hundred feet of lake shore and the acreage moves up the hill from there. “It’s bordered by over four-thousand feet of Lake Superior front­age that is under control of the city,” David told me. “It is being permanently reserved for Black Beach, other beach areas, and remote camping spots. Ninety percent of the lakeshore will re­main rugged.”

On August 7th, the city council will take the recommendation of the planning commission and decide whether they approve. The meeting will be at the Silver Bay City Hall on Monday, at 7 PM. Discussions will include property tax abatement and creating a tax increment financing district. (To see the full Notice of Public Hearing, you’ll be able to find it on our website at www.northshorejournal.co

or check out the legal notices section inside this week’s issue.)

David Drown believes the city’s consider­ation to make Silver Bay better and make it a little more open for visitors and tourists has been a “balanced approach between keeping the character of Silver Bay, which our residents clearly love,” he said. “And we know a lot of people who want to visit. Providing places to stay and things to do will encourage that.”

As I write this, I have the opportunity to vis­it Silver Bay tonight to watch some hockey. I keep an eye out for events occurring around our local communities and Silver Bay always seems to have something cool going on. I look forward to driving up the shore. It’s a beautiful drive to a beautiful city that continues to grow and develop and that new visitors are discover­ing all the time.

Feel free to contact me at sarahwritesnsj@yahoo.com with any news we should news about!

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