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Demolition of Marquette Mall a sign of times

The proverbial “all good things must come to an end” has again reared its ugly head, this time with a location that used to be one of Marquette’s most visited and beloved landmarks.

The Marquette Mall, once home to over 50 establishments, including a cinema, a restaurant, an arcade and multiple specialty shops, is slated for partial demolition this fall.

While much of the mall will be demolished, the western portion of the building will remain intact, said Dennis Severinsen, vice president of real estate at Great Lakes Commercial Real Estate. Dagenais Enterprises, which owns the Marquette Mall, is the parent company of Great Lakes Commercial Real Estate.

“It’s going to be everything except for the west building,” Severinsen said, noting that the Dollar Tree, the UP North Car Wash and the Pizza Hut will remain intact.

The process is currently underway, Severinsen said, as “the actual demolition will start in September” and is likely to be completed in October.

The mall, located along U.S. 41 near the western edge of the Marquette city limits, was initially developed in the 1970s, but the number of tenants has fallen over the past decades. After the recent departure of the Michigan Secretary of State, as well as the Riverside Auto Mall, the Dollar Tree is the only remaining business in the main mall building.

The reason for the partial demolition, Severinsen said, is “just the fact that the mall is antiquated and that property needs to be redeveloped.”

Many of us here remember when the Marquette Mall was bustling every single weekend and a family could easily spend the entire day there, shopping, playing games, eating and maybe taking in a movie.

While we understand that times have changed, and shopping malls are becoming a thing of the past — knowing that doesn’t make the demolition of this building any less of a somber occasion.

It will be interesting to see what comes next for that portion of real estate. Severinsen said there are not any specific plans for sale or redevelopment at this time.

Whatever it may be, we can only hope it is something that becomes a hub for Marquette residents, like the Marquette Mall once was.