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Marquette City Commission rezones parking lot at Third and Main to central business district

MARQUETTE — The parking lot at the corner of Third and Main streets in Marquette is one step closer to redevelopment.

The Marquette City Commission at its Oct. 28 meeting unanimously approved the rezoning of the parcel at 135 W. Main St. from a municipal to central business district, as the property is no longer owned by the city.

The vote followed a public hearing and the planning commission’s unanimous vote on Sept. 17 to recommend the rezoning of the parcel to the city commission.

The parcel was purchased by local developer Veridea Group for $221,000 in July 2018.

However, it still serves as a surface parking lot with just over 70 spaces for permitted parking through the Marquette Downtown Development Authority.

During the Oct. 28 meeting’s public hearing, one commenter expressed concerns about parking in the area with the new development. Commissioner Dave Campana asked Marquette City Manager Mike Angeli to provide information on the situation.

“There will be a parking structure beneath the building,” Angeli said. “I’m not sure of the number of parking spaces; however, I’m under the understanding it will be enough to accommodate the users of the building, as well as the public.”

He also noted the Marquette Downtown Development Authority has been working on potential strategies for addressing parking throughout the city’s downtown, one being the possible creation of a second parking structure.

While Veridea is still in the design development phase of the project, tentative plans for the property are to build a five-story, 50,000-square-foot multi-use building with two levels of underground parking.

Veridea officials emphasized in a phone interview Thursday that the rezoning is essentially the first step in the redevelopment process and the company is still working on designs for the property at this time.

“It’s a positive step, it’s a step forward,” Michele Thomas, director of development with Veridea Group, said Thursday.

Furthermore, once the full site plan is developed, it will need to be approved by the city planning commission and the developer will need to be granted a building permit.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248.