Cherished Grand Haven ice cream shop may be torn down

Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 18:20:04-05

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — An iconic building that holds sentimental value for a lot of people in Grand haven may not be around much longer.

The city is currently reviewing a plan to tear down the Dairy Treat building that has stood since 1969 and replace it with condos.

"I have the fondest memories as a child, going with my mom, getting ice cream, heading down to the beach,” said Grand Haven native Lindsay Anderson. “I now as a mother myself take my kids there for special occasions."

Anderson, like many locals, is anxiously awaiting to see what happens to the beloved ice cream shop as the private owner has submitted an application to tear it down and build in its place.

Grand Haven Community Development Manager Jennifer Howland said the proposal is to have a three-story building on the property. The bottom floor would be home to Dairy Treat and some covered parking, and the other two would contain residential condos.

It’s the newest proposal in a string of recent developments in the beach town, and locals have strong opinions.

Anderson says she's thinking about aesthetics.

"It's just another thing that our town is losing that has given it so much of the charm that it has, and it's really disappointing to a lot of us,” she said.

Jamie Nagtzaam Adams, a fourth-generation Grand Haven native, says she's appreciative of change but understands the repercussions of added height.

"It’s unfortunate that some of these people have lost their views, and that’s unfortunate, but it’s a sign of the times and these things are gonna happen,” Adams said.

The decision on the proposal will be made in March. Only time will tell how one of West Michigan’s most charismatic lakeshore towns will continue to develop.

"To me it's heartbreaking to not have those things around for my children to continue to enjoy," said Anderson.

"I think it’s beautiful, there’s nothing in this town that I don’t think is better, I truly don’t," Adams said.

Residents who would like to give their input to a city development can do so at a Grand Haven City Council meeting.