Third and Main has good potential for development

The Marquette City Commission Monday gave the go-ahead for City Manager Mike Angeli to negotiate a sale of property at the corner of Third and Main streets.

Several entities have expressed an interest in purchasing the property: the Veridea Group Inc., which recently completed the Liberty Way project along Washington Street, and Tom Vear, co-owner of Donckers and The Delft Bistro, also located along Washington.

Vear said he and his partners plan to make a presentation regarding the property to the commission soon. By the way, the property in question is across the street from property he already owns.

Veridea Group President Robert Mahaney said Veridea’s vision is for a multi-story mixed-use building above ground and a public underground parking structure.

We’re not sure what Vear has in mind, but considering his successful business experience, it holds our interest. Veridea also has proven development experience in the area, so its idea for a building and underground parking also is intriguing.

And parking, as most of us know, can be a precious commodity in the downtown area, depending on the time of the day. If it’s underground, that should leave above-ground space for other purposes.

Also, it doesn’t appear the property is in a highly sensitive environmental area since it’s zoned in the Central Business District. This means the project would have to be similar in size and scale to meet zoning ordinances.

It’s worth noting too that either project would be privately funded, so no taxpayer dollars would be used. The Veridea project is anticipated to be around $10 million of private investments, with a potential mix of retail, dining, office and residential components.

Third and Main has the potential to be an inviting place to visit, considering its location and proximity to other businesses and establishments.

Whatever entity gets the OK to develop the project — either Veridea, Tom Vear or someone else — we will watch with great interest.