What’s up at the Glen Arbor Park?


By Linda Alice Dewey

Sun contributor

There’s a whole lot going on at the Glen Arbor Park. When the Sun visited May 7 at 4 p.m. for this update, we saw earthmovers trawling back and forth, smoothing the ground for three pickleball courts over by the hardware’s garden center; plumbers working on the bathroom facility in the center of things; a landscape architect shooting pictures over by the adult workout equipment, while workers for the general contractor were busy in the southwest quadrant of the park. Between the masons, plumbers, carpenters, landscapers and earthmovers, Glen Arbor parks commissioner Rick Schanhals estimated the park will have employed 30 workers over the course of the project.

Progress is moving along well now, but poor April weather set the schedule back. “We’re behind a month,” lamented Schanhals. Another surprise was the sudden need to dig a new well. “There’s always something you hadn’t planned on,” he added.

Still, by early May, several pieces of equipment had been installed—three large structures for children including a merry-go-round and a teeter totter for four, plus the “spinning bowl” and something called a “Supernova.” Footings and below-ground bathroom plumbing were in place, and the first sitting wall had been installed by the pavilion, which sits in its new location by Lake Street. This is all in addition to preparatory earth work, plus tree and equipment removal last fall.

Other things are waiting to go in. A swing structure leans against a fence, along with a 19-foot rope-climbing apparatus. Tennis court #2 has been torn out; once the asphalt is poured, it has to cure for 30 days before workers can apply the final surface.

Many projects have yet to commence. The current basketball court is slated to come out; the new one will be closer to the west sidewalk and will nearly double in size with the addition of a side court and two more baskets. But first, trees between the current basketball court and the west sidewalk must be removed to make space for it.

Four sway benches (gliders) are coming for adults—two by the tennis courts and two near the playgrounds, so caretakers and visitors can glide and “watch whatever they want,” said Schanhals.

Additional sitting walls are slated to be placed around the children’s playground and by the tennis courts, plus plantings and more trees.

Once the big jobs are done, a sidewalk will wind around and through the park. “Walk three laps,” Schanhals said, “and you’ll have a mile in.”

He hopes the park will be ready for visitors by the third week in June. That will mainly depend on the weather.


Affordable housing included in LVR construction project

Across M-22 from LVR Realty/Leelanau Vacation Rentals (LVR) and Glen Arbor Outdoor sits a quiet, little blue rental cottage. Behind it, though, things are happening. That’s where owners Ranae and Bob Ihme are preparing space for a new 40 x 80-foot warehouse that will include living space above.

The property was originally part of a two-parcel purchase made by Bob Sutherland, who is using the south lot for Cherry Republic’s new septic field and parking. The Ihmes bought the blue cottage property from Sutherland. The two will share an access.

Currently in the design stage, the new building will be attractive, said Bob Ihme, with a hip roof similar to the roof of the entry at Anderson’s IGA. “It won’t look like a warehouse.” The living space upstairs will house six to eight residents and will consist of a common area, and a kitchen, with bedrooms down a long hall. The Ihmes have yet to determine whether these will be single or double bedrooms, or a combination of the two.

Their hope is that, with the busy summer season for LVR and winter for Glen Arbor Outdoor, their employees might keep occupancy steady and near capacity through the entire year. Residency would not be limited to LVR or Glen Arbor Outdoor employees, however. Both seasonal and year-round residents would be welcome. The Ihmes estimate that rent would cost approximately $100 per week.

Construction is planned to begin early this fall with completion in time for occupancy late next spring.