West End update – Nate Heffron – city of Negaunee

Housing a key to city of Negaunee’s future

Nate Heffron, city manager, city of Negaunee

NEGAUNEE — There’s no place like home. But having a place to call home and the rising cost of housing is an issue. Is housing attainable or affordable?

And who decides what those words even mean in relation to housing? Unfortunately, those questions are just too complex for me to answer here today. But I can offer some insight on what’s happening on the housing front in Negaunee. 

Recently, the city chose to join the Marquette County Housing Taskforce. We, along with other local municipalities, are working with several community-minded that include the Lake Superior Community Partnership to find solutions to this growing crisis.

I don’t see a downside to Negaunee joining this effort. Our city only stands to gain from working with leaders who are facing the same problems. Together we will find a solution!

In the meantime, Negaunee is still forging ahead with housing in its own way. Recently the Planning Commission approved a subdivision application. This subdivision will provide 27-lots for new homes. 

The city is working with all parties to reach a development agreement for the new subdivision. The developer is seeking brownfield funding to help offset the cost of water and sewer infrastructure at the site. If all goes well, we may see hints starting to go soon in this new subdivision. I am assuming this denotes a timeline?

The Planning Commission further approved several requests by another developer (insert procedure here). This will allow the construction of six duplexes on Water Street. This project is well underway and at least two building foundations have been laid.

The Planning Commission doesn’t get to have all the fun, the City Council recently sold off three lots to a developer to construct two-single family homes and one duplex.

The first home should be constructed next year. The second two homes will be built in within four years. 

As we move forward towards the future, Negaunee is looking attractive for housing opportunities. Over the next few years, the city will be looking to sign development agreements on several other city-owned properties for housing. It is estimated that these properties could provide up to 124 or more, single family homes. Much of this will depend on many factors such as lot size, home size and whether any of these locations will be duplexes, townhouses, or apartments.

 Other opportunities lie with the private sector. What many might not know, Negaunee consists of 15-square miles. It’s the largest city in Marquette County by land size. Many of the lots within our borders are rural. That makes us very similar to townships.

This unique feature can give us some advantages — including larger tracts of land that can support subdivisions and housing developments. These potential developments could have easy access to city water, sewer, and electric infrastructure. 

Private landholders in Negaunee are well aware of these advantages. They are also in tune with Negaunee’s great customer service.

We go the extra mile to assist in helping a project become reality and preventing roadblocks from getting in the way. 

The goal in the next few years is for Negaunee to be part of a housing solution — where more people can call our city home. Whether this is through collaboration with the housing taskforce or finding our own way, either way we are moving forward!


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today