Marquette County commissioners approve Negaunee brownfield plan

Marquette County Board of Commissioners members from the left Joe Derocha, Karen Alholm and Bill Nordeen discuss a proposed brownfield redevelopment plan during the board’s Tuesday meeting. The board approved a plan which will see 27 single-family homes built in the city of Negaunee between this summer and 2030. (Journal photo by Randy Crouch)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette County Board of Commissioners during a meeting Tuesday evening approved a proposed brownfield plan which would develop 27 residential lots in the city of Negaunee.

The board decided to adopt the proposal after discussing the matter during a public hearing. The Negaunee City Council approved the plan during a June 9 meeting.

The land in question is owned by Iron Ore Land Holdings, LLC. The plan has received support from the Marquette County Land Bank Authority and the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

The planned construction would see 27 single-family, single-story units built in two stages. The first of the two stages would see 13 of the minimum 1,200 square-foot units being constructed between this summer and the summer of 2025. The second phase would involve 14 units being built between 2027 and 2030.

A lack of available and affordable housing in Marquette and surrounding areas has been a hot topic recently.

“This is a case where I think we are all well aware of the need for housing in Marquette County,” said Anne Giroux, executive director of the Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. “We have a developer who is interested in building homes on this site on Maas Street. However, the cost of the infrastructure to extend those infrastructure utilities and roads to that site make it cost prohibitive to develop that site.

“This brownfield plan allows the developer to be reimbursed through tax increments through the life of the brownfield plan.”

While the land in question is currently owned by Iron Ore Land Holdings, in order to meet the proper criteria, the land must be owned by a qualified local governmental unit, which the city of Negaunee is not. To make sure that it properly qualifies, the land will be temporarily owned by the Marquette County Land Bank Authority during the time of the plan adoption.

“It’s not your typical brownfield site,” Giroux said. “Typically when you are hearing about brownfield sites, you are talking about environmental contamination or blighted properties. This is not. This is a 40-acre parcel. It’s unique that these two entities are coming together to qualify this site and allow for the infrastructure improvements to be a part of the brownfield plan.”

Randy Crouch can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. His email address is rcrouch@miningjournal.net.


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