Lakeshore purchase makes no sense

To the Journal editor:

Spending $350,000 ($50/sf) for 6,727/sf for 702 N. Lakeshore Blvd. to gain about 100 feet of beach ($3,500/ft) is unreasonable.

What will the city and public get out of this? Beach that the public already has access to by state law, financial burden of building removal, responsibility to protect an additional 100 feet of shoreline from erosion, and loss of property taxes.

What will the Anthony family get out of this? A huge financial windfall, agreed-to public recognition (signage, plaque?) at additional city expense and wiping their hands of the certain to come financial burden of protecting their property from erosion by waves and high water levels.

Arguing that the city should purchase this property to prevent a developer from purchasing and developing it is pure bunk. The city already has allowed and promoted development of the Hampton Inn and the buildings north of it on the lake side of Lakeshore Blvd.

How much development can happen on this tiny lot, considering setbacks from road ROW, the lake high water mark? The developer will pay higher property taxes than the Anthony family is currently paying and would own the responsibility for shoreline erosion protection.

This section of beach has lost significant width over the past 2 years. Next time Lake Superior reaches a record high level, this section of beach is likely to look like that north of Picnic Rocks — all rock riprap and little to no beach.

I enjoy riding on the bike trail past 702 N. Lakeshore Blvd and cannot see how city ownership of that tiny lot will help improve trail users’ experience. Perhaps removing the buildings and adding parking will enhance the access for auto-driving beachgoers to a beach that already experiences overcrowding.

Certainly there must be something more beneficial to the public for which that $350,000 could be spent. By way of comparison, the multi-million dollar purchase of several hundred acres in south Marquette is one of the greatest purchases Marquette ever made, providing a large area for hiking and bicycling. If the city has not yet paid off what it owes for this purchase, then the $350,000 would be better spent here that at 702 N. Lakeshore Blvd.

City commissioners should reconsider this purchase in light of what other better opportunities they have to give the public more recreational opportunities for the same $350,000.


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