MUSKEGON — The former B.C. Cobb coal plant on Muskegon Lake is anticipated to be “one of the top marine port terminals” on the Great Lakes after officials announced today the site’s remediation and sale to a new owner.
Verplank Dock Co. will now use the site to consolidate its Muskegon Lake commercial dock operations, acquiring the property from North Carolina-based Forsite Development Inc.
“This is a great opportunity for our company, and an exciting time for the City of Muskegon,” Verplank President and CEO Ron Matthews said in a statement. “By acquiring this property, we can establish Muskegon as one of the top marine port terminals on the Great Lakes while enhancing the local economy by creating new jobs and opportunities. (Forsite) did a tremendous job at remediating this property into a valuable asset.”
Consumers Energy paid Forsite $1 million to take over the 115-acre property in 2017, which included responsibility to remediate the site, as MiBiz previously reported. Officials say the process took more than 310,000 hours with as many as 120 workers a day at the site.
The utility retired the Cobb plant in 2016 as part of its broader clean energy plan. Forsite also acquired a Consumers coal plant in Luna Pier in Southeast Michigan, which is being actively marketed.
“I’m proud of the work our team did to give this property a second life and pleased to have a forward-thinking company like Verplank entrusted with its next chapter,” Forsite CEO Tom McKittrick said in a statement. “I’d also like to thank Consumers Energy for placing the confidence in us to decommission and repurpose these sites. With our highly effective risk transfer model, we were able to transform these legacy coal plants in an environmentally responsible manner.”
Ferrysburg-based Verplank plans to use the port to service a range of freight, including shipping containers. The plan aligns with the city’s goal to bolster marine operations on the eastern end of Muskegon Lake.
Also, Verplank’s relocation to the Cobb site frees up two Muskegon lakefront sites for redevelopment and will reduce truck traffic through downtown Muskegon.
Terms of the deal between Forsite and Verplank were not disclosed.