IS THE BUILDING boom in Marquette just about over?
At first glance, it might appear to be.
Consider: 1) The $300 million hospital project is gearing down and is scheduled to open this spring 2) The Woods, NMU’s huge residential addition, is complete 3) Same goes for the Energy Center 4) And for Harbor Vista, the apartment complex just south of downtown 5) One Marquette Place, the high rise on the lakeshore is also nearing completion 6) As is the extensive renovation at the Holiday Inn.
And of course, Meijer opened up earlier this year. Plenty of other projects, as well, including Trillium House and UPAWS. Tons of money invested, hundreds of well-paying construction jobs filled over the last few years.
So now what?
“We had the boom and there will probably be some adjustments in the months ahead,” says Brian Kerrigan, the business representative for carpenters and millwrights in Marquette. “But we’re hearing from the contractors and they’re telling us there will be plenty of jobs in 2019 and beyond.”
Well, there’s 1) The casino expansion, expected to last all year 2) The NMU University Center renovation, scheduled to be completed next fall 3) NMU’s Learning Center remodeling 4) The hoped-for and long overdue renovation of the Jacobetti Center 5) The new Riverside Auto construction, now underway on US 41 6) The anticipated Veridea mixed-use project in the heart of downtown.
Those, along with the decommissioning of the WE Energies facility and the repurposing (or razing) of the old hospital buildings–both of which will require plenty of skilled labor.
So yeah, the boom will likely continue and the demand for workers will remain high, according to Kerrigan, who continues to tell us that jobs in the construction trades are there for the taking. Well-paying jobs. Jobs that’ll keep you in the U.P.
A SOLID TOURIST season for Marquette.
A 6% increase in hotel revenue in September, according to Susan Estler of Travel Marquette. That followed a 3% rise in August, a 1% dip in July, and a 17% jump in June.
Overall, a 6% increase so far over last year.
November and December, of course, are sleepy months in Marquette County. Not much sun, not much snow, and the leaves are all down.
Estler did mention, however, that a delegation from China recently visited Marquette. Imagine that–the Chinese have now discovered the U.P.
PRAISE FOR MARQUETTE’S economic vibrancy in Crain’s Detroit Business, the influential online business journal.
The article spotlights InvestUP, NMU, the Smartzone, and the Angel Investors, as well as individuals such as Bob Mahaney, Dennis West, Dave Nyberg and Rich Vander Veen.
Quoting: “What’s exciting is the combination of placemaking. and community development. What’s going on with the tourism industry, with all the entrepreneurs, with the risk-takers, with how the university is helping. It just says a lot about what happens when the private and public sections come together…”
And this quote from Governor Snyder about Marquette: “People want to move there, or if they are there, they want to stay there. I encourage people to go see what’s going on there. It’s one thing to talk about it, it’s another to experience it.”
Uhh, yeah, come and visit, spend your money, and move here if you choose, but please, please understand: We love what we are–a vibrant, medium-sized community that values livability and the gifts of Nature over the almighty dollar.
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