After a year of deliberations and negotiations, Duke LifePoint has made its decision. It wants to relocate Marquette General Hospital to the Roundhouse property in Marquette.
A DLP executive will attend next Monday’s City Commission meeting to make the proposal for the purchase of the property.
It is not a done deal yet. The City Commission must still accept the offer and details must still be worked out in a formal contract, but it seems highly unlikely that anybody or anything will stand in the way of a deal that means so much to the city of Marquette.
Here are some of the highlights of the proposed deal as listed in the Memorandum of Understanding:
Duke LifePoint would pay the city $4 million for the land containing
the Roundhouse site and the property on which the Municipal
Service Center stands. It’s a total of 37 acres.
Duke LifePoint would drop its two Tax Tribunal cases against the city for the current Marquette General Hospital. That’s a big relief to the city which was facing a major shortfall in tax revenues if DLP had succeeded at its Tax Tribunal.
The city would help DLP get a 12 year, 50% tax abatement on the
The city would design and construct a roundabout or other signalized
entrance to the new hospital off of US 41. This would be located at
about 300 yards west of Grove Street on US 41, roughly connecting
the current MSC site and the Norlite Nursing Center.
The city would design and construct a new bridge over US 41 at
Grove Street. That means the surface intersection of US 41 and
Grove Street would be eliminated.
The city would realign Baraga Avenue to tie into Spring Street to
allow better access to the new hospital.
The current MSC building would be torn down and relocated.
Other major improvements would also have to be made–electrical, water, sewer, environmental and the like–but the deal, as it stands, has been agreed to by Duke LifePoint and a subcommittee of the City Commission.
Now, it’ll be up to the full Commission to sign off on it.
The one essential piece of this agreement is that the entire development would be declared a Brownfield Project. In other words, it’s being developed on devalued former industrial or railroad land.
The Brownfield designation would enable DLP to set up a so-called TIF district (tax increment financing) which would allow it and the city to recapture tax dollars on the property and pay for all of the infrastructure improvements. Total cost of all the changes and improvements: $30 million dollars.
The city seems confident that virtually none of the costs will be borne by the city’s citizens.
It’s long and complicated, to say the least, but the money men and women will figure it out.
Construction of the hospital and a medical office facility on the same campus will take about two years.
What happens to the old hospital and the current medical center? No answers yet.
One thing at a time.
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