Ishpeming City Council will get information on project changes

MARQUETTE –The Ishpeming City Council will hear an update from the developer of the proposed Jasperlite Senior Housing Project during its regular meeting at 7 p.m. today at Ishpeming City Hall.

G.A. Haan Development will provide an update on the housing complex, which will be built on the former Bell Hospital site at the corner of Fourth and Division streets, and the changes that have been made to the site plan since the council passed a payment in lieu of taxes for the development in 2017.

The development will still provide 36 rent-controlled housing units for senior citizens 55 and older, according to a Jan. 31 Mining Journal article, but G.A. Haan Development coordinator Ben Ide said design elements had to be changed after soil samples taken from the 6-acre site in early 2018 revealed that some areas could not support a traditional foundation.

The original project design consisting of a 20-unit, two-story building serviced by an elevator, and four detached single-floor, four-unit buildings was not “economically feasible,” Ide said. Instead, the best alternative was determined to be a single three-story, 36-unit structure.

The new complex will be built in the same location as the former Bell Hospital, which was demolished after the new facility on Lakeshore Drive opened in September 2008.

“The Bell Hospital building, specifically the addition done in the 1970s had deep concrete piers,” Ide told The Mining Journal in January. “So we pretty much redesigned the site. That’s not unusual — to rework your site — especially if you have challenges.”

In other business, the council will hold a public hearing to consider input on its Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant application for a tennis court and trail project at the Ishpeming Playground park.

The city is seeking $300,000 in MNRTF funds for the $505,000 project, which would provide new tennis courts and trail improvements at the site.

Grant funds would be matched by $205,000 in donations raised by a capital campaign committee affiliated with Ishpeming Public Schools.

Athletes from the district would use the new courts for practice and tournaments.

Officials in the past have called the condition of the current courts “dilapidated” and “dangerous.”

The council will also hear an update from Lake Superior Community Partnership about a new marketing campaign to develop 600 acres of city property along Malton Road.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.