Move over Mackinac Island. A developer is looking to put southwest Michigan on the map when it comes to being a top tourist spot in the state.
Ron Schults is the man behind the Harbor Village development, a $114 million project in St. Joseph.
The plans for the first phase of Harbor Village are before the St. Joseph City Planning Commission, waiting approval.
If the developer gets the green light, work on the multi-million dollar project will start this fall.
"It's one of the highest end marinas in the world," said Schults as he points to photos of a Yacht Club he helped develop in Singapore.
Schults has developed waterfront property all around the globe - a marina in Dublin Bay, Ireland, and hotel, casino and marina in Malta.
Now, the St. Joe native, known as one of the most notable waterfront experts in the world, is turning his talents to Harbor Village in his own backyard.
"I want to make sure it's done right and does stand the test of time, because everybody's gonna be looking at it."
The Harbor Village concept is a sprawling development with a 105 slip marina, condos, cottages, restaurant, spa, conference center, and a 4-star hotel.
Schults says it will have a Victorian New England Style look to it with work done in phases, starting with the marina this fall.
"It's basically a complete waterfront community," said Schults.
The property is a former industrial site that sits at the point where the Paw Paw and St. Joe Rivers converge. On one side, it boasts beautiful views of the golf course, and on the other resort, guests will see the Berrien County courthouse and jail.
"The assets here are huge," adds Schults who believes by the time the development is complete, the jail will likely be moved to a more rural location.
The assets which he expects will draw thousands of tourists to town include the Harbor Shores golf course, the beaches, and the property's close proximity to Chicago.
And for Schults having this development succeed has special importance.
"I told the folks at Harbor Shores I have a special interest here. I'm gonna wanna drive on my boat and look back at this development with my kids and say I did something."
Schults says after an 8-year economic slump, there is a demand for a development like this. And he says they already have 15 interested buyers. The project is expected to take 10 years to build in phases, but in the end could bring as many as 175 jobs or more to the area.
The St. Joseph City planning commission is expected to vote on the plans for the first phase of the Harbor Village project on August 2.
To see more of the plans for Harbor Village, CLICK HERE.