Shovels in the ground: Silver Bay hosts groundbreaking ceremony for Boathouse Bay development
Chuck Olsen

Shovels in the ground: Silver Bay hosts groundbreaking ceremony for Boathouse Bay development

Golden shovels officially hit the ground yesterday for a significant development project in Silver Bay. 

The $25 million Boathouse Bay project consists of residential and commercial development. The project’s first phase, which began yesterday, on Jan. 31, will focus on building 24 townhomes that will feature lakeside villas available for purchase and bungalows designated as rentals. The residential development is located in the new Bayview Park, formerly known as the Silver Bay Business Park, along the shores of Lake Superior.

The second phase of the development project will include commercial aspects such as retail, restaurants, a park, and an amphitheater.

During the Jan. 31 groundbreaking ceremony, Ida Rukavina, the commissioner of Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation (IRRR), Senator Grant Hauschild, Representative Roger Skraba, and Boathouse Bay developer John Anderson spoke about the significance of the project for Silver Bay. 

“Our agency supported this Boathouse project with over $1 million in infrastructure grants to the city of Silver Bay,” Rukavina said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “The grants help pay for the water, sewer, roads, site work, and engineering related to the infrastructure needed to support this great new housing and resort development.” 

She said northeastern Minnesota needs “all types of housing from single-family homes to workforce housing, senior homes, the need for additional and more choices.”

“So the project that we’re celebrating today is helping to grow this housing capacity,” Rukavina said. 

In late Dec., the developer, John Anderson, told MPR that he plans to sell the first six townhomes for roughly $630,000 and hopes to finish construction by next September. 

The Silver Bay city council approved the conditional use permit and preliminary plat for the Boathouse Bay development project during a Dec. 4, 2023 meeting.  

During the Jan. 31 ceremony, Senator Hauschild said, “The number one issue that I hear about in our communities is housing. We want people to live up here, and people want to live here.” In his speech, he talked about the difficulties communities face regarding housing, “The more housing that we have in our communities, the better it’s going to be not only for housing prices (but) for everybody.” He said the project will increase the property tax base and help fund core services in Silver Bay. 

Representative Skraba spoke next, commenting on the location’s Lake Superior views, “I think you’re gonna have a great development here. I think it sells itself.”

“This is going to be something everyone should be proud of. I’m thankful that we could help,” Skraba said.

Then, Anderson said, “We’ve been at this for two and half years.” He said, “I got to thank the city of Silver Bay. I want to thank the city council for all that they’ve done.”

“We want to be thoughtful to the Silver Bay community. Want to be thoughtful to the beautiful and majestic land that we have here,” Anderson said. “We look forward to a very successful project.”

WTIP’s Chuck Olsen attended the groundbreaking ceremony in Silver Bay. Audio from the ceremony is below.