Ex-golf course homestead may be demolished
By Scott Sullivan
The 14 Ferry St. homestead of the former West Shore Golf Course-owning Wicks family has fallen into disrepair and may be demolished after prospective buyer/renovators withdrew their offer last week.
“The house has a lot of history,” Kathy Sarkisian, who in 2012 bought hillside land west of the Ferry/Center street dwelling, told The Commercial Record. Her idea then was to turn West Shore’s former 18th hole and parking lot into a sledding facility.
“Pat Woods and I had a vision of doing something great with the homestead land for the community,” she continued.
The home’s disposition, including a reference to the mother/daughter team’s purchase interest, was listed as unfinished business on Monday Douglas City Council agenda. So were copies of an April 10 notice from zoning administrator Lisa Imus to current landowner Mark Mikolitis declaring the dwelling a dangerous building, plus a May 2 notice giving him an Aug. 5 deadline to:
• Replace the roof to the rafters,
• Remove a fireplace now almost separated from the structure,
• Replace broken windows,
• Secure exterior doors and make sure they are rot free,
• Scrape peeling paint from the exterior and repaint the structure, or
• Demolish it.
An Aug. 1 memo from city manager Rich LaBombard, also included in the agenda, mentioned Woods and Sarkisian were interested in discussing a time extension in order to repair the structure.
“Terms changed,” Sarkisian told The Commercial Record Monday afternoon. “The city became involved and, on further inspection, we realized just how deteriorated the home had become. The price to restore was more than it was to demolish.
“So we removed ourselves from the agenda,” Sarkisian said.
“Yeah, it’s in rough shape,” Mikolitis, who with his family also owns Lakeshore Lodging and the Just Add Water beach shop across Ferry Street from the structure. “With them bowing out, it will probably come down.”
BDR Custom Homes of Grand Rapids bought most of the former West Shore, which for 96 years operated as a golf course, June 1, 2011 from Macatawa Bank after it foreclosed on Paul Wicks, the land’s former owner.
The firm, which has also acquired and is building on the former Swing Bridge site southwest of the Blue Star Bridge in Douglas, continues developing West Shore for homes on a phased-in basis.