Northern Michigan University Foundation shares results from community forums
By Journal Staff
MARQUETTE — Marquette area residents identified housing as a major need during a community forum conducted by Northern Michigan University that discussed the potential redevelopment of the former hospital site located adjacent to the NMU campus.
The forums, facilitated by Chicago-based national urban planning and design studio Design Workshop, focused on resident feedback over the course of four sessions.
During the forums, residents were informed about the work that has been done so far by the NMU Foundation in coming up with possible plans and identifying challenges associated with the possible redevelopment of the former UP Health System-Marquette site.
“The NMU Foundation’s role in this process continues to be focused on aligning the resources and relationships necessary to facilitate redevelopment of the former hospital site in a way that benefits NMU and the community of Marquette,” said Brad Canale, CEO of the NMU Foundation, in a press release.
“We appreciate the opportunity to have a dialogue with community members about the status of our efforts, as well as to hear their perspective on how this project can address numerous priorities.”
Throughout the forums, held in May, participants noted housing as a major need in the Marquette area.
Other suggested uses for the site involved expansion of event and community spaces, improving the walkability between the NMU campus and the neighborhoods that surround it and exploring other potential uses including retail.
Networking group Connect Marquette also had members present during one of the forums held May 9.
During that forum, the need for infrastructure and services that would cater to a remote, tech-driven workforce was discussed.
Some of the recommendations included broadband connectivity, electronics and office/retail services.
Prior to publicly releasing the NMU Foundation findings, the results were presented to the Marquette City Commission as well as the Veridea Group, which was selected by the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees as the master developer partner.
A full summary of the forums, including information from all four of the community forum sessions, can be found online at www.foundation.nmu.edu.