Bridge, channel open way to Portage Twp. development

Former Celotex quarry to be site of $230 million waterside community PORTAGE TWP. A $230 million housing dev
May 24, 2010


Former Celotex quarry to be site of $230 million waterside community


A $230 million housing development took one step closer to completion with the opening of Lockwood Bridge on Friday.

The bridge spans a newly excavated channel that upon completion will connect several nearby lakes with Sandusky Bay. The main channel, named Quarry Channel, would allow boating access for the housing development, said Mark Murray, president of Kwest Development LLC.

"This is a huge step for us," Murray said. "It's a key part of the housing development. Without the bridge and the channel, it wouldn't have as big a potential as it will now."

The residential development sits on 700 acres on the site of the former Celotex Gypsum Quarry, a defunct mining operation.

Murray has spent three years evaluating the property, dubbed Clearwater Quarry, which includes two lakes covering 130 acres, a wildlife preserve and prime developable land.

The development will include 1,200 residential units, which will be under construction next summer. Quarry Channel will open in the spring connecting Sandusky Bay to several quarry lakes.

The project focuses on a multi-phased approach spread over 10-15 years.

The bridge has been under construction since mid-August and took about 90 days to complete, well within budget and time constraints, Murray said.

"He's made the opening as smooth as possible," Ottawa County Commissioner Carl Koebel said. "The road's back open, and I'm sure people appreciate that."

The entire development hinges on providing a variety of residential units such as small, large, lakefront and single-family homes along with waterfront condominiums.

The residential units vary in price, starting at $150,000 and go up from there, Murray said.

About 46 percent of the 1,200 units will have access to the waterfront.

Kwest bought the quarry property in 2002 and mined for limestone until 2004 and began evaluating the property for development soon after.

Murray pursued a residential development because mining was no longer profitable.