BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – April 15, 2024 - Cornerstone Alliance, in collaboration with Harbor Shores, is proud to announce the creation of a new waterfront community space in Benton Harbor.

The new development is made possible due to a $1,000,000 grant secured by Cornerstone Alliance and the Berrien County Community Development Department. The competitive grant was made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's Revitalization and Placemaking Program (RAP). The development will create greater connectivity to the water by investing more than $2,000,000 in the waterfront plaza in Benton Harbor.

“Waterfront development is a top priority for the community and our organization," said Andrew Haan, Vice President of Business Development, at Cornerstone Alliance. "MEDC’s RAP program provided the perfect opportunity to create a world-class space for the community and set the standard for future public space development. The opportunity to be part of a multi-community application through Berrien County Community Development was critical to securing the funds for the project."

Located on Riverview Drive between Emma Jean Hull Flats and the Shipping Canal, the Plaza will connect the community to the water for both recreation and leisure uses. A water taxi dock, kayak launch, and fishing area will provide water recreation opportunities. A fire pit, dog park, and food truck space, with shaded seating, offer additional opportunities to enjoy the waterfront.

“This space fits with our philosophy of creating amenities that the entire community can use and be proud of," notes Chris Cook, Managing Director, Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment. "We are excited to have another way to access the water and an additional place for community programming and events."

The development is buoyed by a contribution from the Whirlpool Foundation. Cornerstone Alliance and Harbor Shores are working to secure additional support for the project. Harbor Shores has contributed the space for this community-focused project and will provide ongoing maintenance.

“Our support for this project reflects Whirlpool Foundation's ongoing commitment to building a thriving community for all in the Twin Cities," said Pamela Klyn, Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations and Sustainability for Whirlpool Corporation. "We are optimistic that this investment will spur further development along the shoreline in the future."

Additionally, Benton Harbor City Commission today approved a key $25,000 contribution to the project.

“Our shared waterfront is the next frontier for investment and development," said Mayor Marcus Muhammad, City of Benton Harbor. "The opportunity to help catalyze the creation of a space for neighbors to gather and connect with the water, and with each other fits our vision for how to grow an equitable community. We are grateful for the partnerships that continue to help us advance that goal."

Final fundraising efforts are nearly complete, with construction anticipated to begin this fall, and an early 2025 completion date.

For more information about Cornerstone Alliance and its initiatives, please visit www.GoMichigan.com.