Mixed feelings about Central athletic complex

Reading about the opening of the Traverse City Central athletic complex brought mixed feelings about the highest and best use of real estate in Traverse City. I'm not a sports guy, so when I see the limited land available for housing in the city, and 27 acres is a lot, I’m wondering if this was a squandered opportunity.

In 2008 there was talk of building housing for the Coast Guard base on this property or at least workforce housing. Rep. Bart Stupak on behalf of Traverse City Area Public Schools introduced a bill to “wrestle” this large parcel away from the federal government for athletic programs. This might explain why our thoughts of placing housing on this land were dismissed. It would've been good to know this then because it would've been challenged.

As far back as 2008, and even amid a downturn in housing, our association looked for a way to increase housing stock for what we knew was inevitable. How did we know this? Every spring when new personnel are assigned to our air station, Realtors get contacted by desperate families looking for housing solutions.

Are more athletic fields the highest and best use of land 26 years later? In 2008 we would've said "no."

Kimberly Pontius

CEO of Aspire North Realtors

Traverse City

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