Beacon House building, property for sale

The Beacon House property, shown above along North Third Street in Marquette, is being sold as the nonprofit operating the hospitality house prepares to move to a new facility. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — A lot of excitement and planning is in store for the Beacon House in Marquette as the building and land along Third Street officially went on the market last week.

The non-profit organization is asking for $1.5 million, the same amount borrowed to create the Beacon House from the Village Inn 15 years ago.

The Hospitality House of the Upper Peninsula, the official name of the nonprofit, still owes nearly $800,000 to Range Bank, officials said. Once the loan is paid off, the remaining funds will go toward financing the Beacon House’s new building.

The Beacon House will need an additional $5 million in trade, in-kind services and monetary donations before construction begins on a new facility, according to a press release. The organization hopes to open its doors simultaneously with the new UP Health System-Marquette hospital, currently under construction along Baraga Avenue in Marquette, and projected to open in fall of 2018.

Legacy of Love, a campaign created to help fund the new Beacon House, was reinstated in June when UP Health System-Marquette allotted the nonprofit a 2-acre plot of land by the intersection of Seventh and Spring streets, near the new hospital.

Steve Mariucci, former Detroit Lions coach and Upper Peninsula native, helped launch the campaign in 2016 with his own personal donation of $150,000.

Since it opened in 2002, nearly 200,000 patients, families and caretakers have stayed at the Beacon House during times of need, according to the organization’s website.

The Beacon House plans to add more rooms to the new building so it can help more patients and families in need, officials said.

“(The Beacon House is) an organization of loving and compassionate people who care about their neighbors in a medical crisis,” CEO Mary Tavernini Dowling said. “We will continue our program as long as the people of the U.P. need us, in the best capacity available to us.”

The Beacon House does not provide medical treatment or services. It also do not have any medical staff on duty. However, emotional support is ensured when families and patients unite in the common rooms of the building, officials said.

“Friendships are made,” Dowling said. “There’s a lot of provided emotional care here. Patients who have daily treatments at the hospital support one another because they know what the other is going through.”

Aside from the 33 rooms at the Beacon House, the nonprofit also operates 11 hospitality rooms with 21 beds at UPHS-Marquette, used by families and patients receiving critical care at the hospital.

The Beacon House will continue to operate the hospitality rooms if the existing building along Third Street is sold before the new one is built, officials said.

Since the building was put on the market Aug. 29 there have been several showings already, Dowling said. If the building sells before the new one is built, officials said staff members will work together at finding patients and families places to stay if the hospitality rooms at UPHS-Marquette are full, and Dowling said she’s been looking into and writing grants to local hotels for medical rates.

The Beacon House has had a waiting-list for guests since the beginning of summer due to high traffic. Patients and families with the highest and most critical needs will always be first priority when assisting with medical hospitality lodging, according to the news release.

To donate to Legacy of Love and for other information, visit upbh.org/buildit.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.