A transfer from TCLP to the City would restrict or limit many legal options (such as leases, use agreements, or transfer to other entities) since the City is bound by more restrictive statutes and charter provisions than a municipal utility. TCLP/City have no plans to use the dock; the Discovery Center plan is well developed and ready to go. This public asset has been sitting unused for a decade already.
Selling the land to the highest bidder would only provide a short-term financial gain. That short-term gain would be insignificant when compared to the long-term value and economic impact to future generations of citizens and visitors that will be realized from an active waterfront providing public access, education, and recreation. The Discovery Community Pier, Harbor and Marina concept is in keeping with the City’s efforts to reclaim industrial waterfront for public use.
Additionally, is a massive private development on the dock preferable to opening an existing public asset to public use forever?
On December 10, 2013 the Discovery Center ~ Great Lakes brought an exciting proposal to the Traverse City Light & Power Board. This proposal has huge potential economic, recreational, educational and cultural benefits to the residents and visitors of our region as an ACTIVE working waterfront with offerings such as:
- Major waterfront attraction – economic driver
- Port of call for cruise ships and excursion boats
- Public Fishing Pier
- Base for Fishing Charter fleet
- Base for Tall Ship fleet
- Water Taxi to Power Island and Clinch Park
- Scuba Diving Charters
- TACS High School Sailing Team practice base
- Bareboat Sailing Charters and Sailing School
- Access to boating through rentals, charters, memberships
- Pedestrian access point to the water
- Environmental and scientific learning opportunities
- Recreational activities for all ages and capabilities
- Maritime history education
- Community events like regattas, fishing derbies and Kid’s Free Fishing Day
- Expanded Discovery Center Member Non-Profit Programs and offerings
- Maritime Heritage Alliance
- Watershed Center-Grand Traverse Bay
- Great Lakes Children’s Museum
- Traverse Area Community Sailing
- 118 Market Rate Rental slips that generates the revenue to support all this
To learn more about the potential uses of the Community Harbor click on this infographic:
Proposed Community Pier and Public Access Hub
Note that we are the first to admit that parking on the dock is not desirable or highest and best use, but it allows this project to proceed until safe methods of getting users across the busy highway to remote parking are in place. Once that happens, parking can be removed from the dock in favor of activity space.
PHASE 1- Community Pier, Harbor and Marina