THAT OLD NORDIC Bay Lodge site up on Shiras Hills? The one that was cleared last year? Still no plans for it.
The property owner, Veridea Group, is waiting for a developer to come in with an idea and some cash, or Veridea, itself, may eventually develop it. When the market’s right.
The company, meantime, isn’t standing pat. It’s now looking beyond the borders of the U.P. It’s bought a Residence Inn in Helena, Montana, of all places, and will shortly start building a Courtyard by Marriott downstate in Albion.
Big ambitions for Veridea founder and owner Bob Mahaney who got started in the business abut 20 years ago. Veridea now owns eight properties in the U.P. (including the huge Staybridge Suites now under construction on West Washington), and manages a couple of others. And just sold a couple of others.
A lot of wheeling and dealing.
Marquette will remain home for the company, of course, but Veridea’s now looking elsewhere, to what it calls “emerging markets,” to extend its footprint.
MEANTIME, JUST UP the hill from the old Nordic Bay site, that other cleared site on the lake side of US 41, will also likely remain quiet and vacant this summer.
The property owners ran into trouble with the city last year when they cut down trees on the site in preparation for construction of a condo development. The problems were apparently resolved but the bulldozers never moved in
The plans remain stalled for now.
A spokesman for the owners say the plans are “in process” and the likely earliest date for construction would be 2017.
QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN raised about recent activity seen around the old sandstone Customs building on Lakeshore Drive.
Turns out, the longtime owner is leveling the floor, eliminating a safety hazard outside, and preparing to put in a water line. No major improvements inside.
He insists he has no particular interest in selling the building and definitely doesn’t want to hear from realtors.
The building’s nearly 150 years old and served not only as a Customs facility long ago, but also as a hardware store and a storage building.
WERE YOU ONE of those kids who used to sneak into the old, abandoned, allegedly haunted Holy Family Orphanage on a dare? If you did, you had to navigate a path through the debris, pigeon crap, rats and asbestos.
Totally illegal, of course, but it seems like it was a rite of passage for children in Marquette.
Well, come August when the Grandview Marquette (the new name for the Orphanage) officially breaks ground, you’ll get an opportunity to legally tour the premises. At least, you’ll be able to see the first and second floors, which should be entirely clear of asbestos and pigeon crap by then.
Remediation of the site started earlier this month. You can expect fencing around it to arrive soon, along with lighting and security cameras.
Community Action Alger-Marquette, which co-owns the building with Home Renewal Systems, says that kids–curious daredevils that they are–are still sneaking into the site.
That’ll now stop as serious construction gets underway.
Anticipated opening of the Grandview Marquette remains fall of 2017. A waiting list for wannabe residents will be set up four months before it opens.
A COUPLE OF years ago when Duke LifePoint decided it was going to rebuild on a new site, there were concerns that the Upper Peninsula Medical Center, which houses a lot of doctors’ offices, would lose its docs…and maybe its whole identity.
Word was, it might have to open its doors to other types of businesses–insurance companies, travel agencies, and the like.
Those concerns have greatly abated, according to executive director Hugh Miller. Some doctors, he says, will be leaving when the new campus is up and running, but others, along with medical service businesses, will be relocating to the Upper Peninsula Medical Center.
The Medical Center and Duke LifePoint have had a continuing dialogue, Miller says, about the Medical Center’s role in the future. The way he sees it now is that the Medical Center will act as a second campus for the hospital.
Current occupancy is 85%, which he says is satisfactory.
SOME OF US march to the beat of a different drummer.
An example: Sergeant Kevin Dowling, a 33 year veteran of the Michigan State Police. He started as a trooper, was promoted to sergeant, and considered seeking another promotion which he likely would have gotten.
But years ago, he said no, he didn’t want a promotion because it would have required him to move out of Marquette. And that would have meant uprooting his children. Didn’t want to do it.
Now in his last year before retirement and with his kids all grown up, Sergeant Dowling made a special request: He wanted to spend his last months with the State Police on Mackinac Island. Why? Because he wanted to work closer to the people, have one-on-one interactions with them, do the kind of stuff that first drew him into police work.
He couldn’t do that, he was told, because Mackinac Island utilized only troopers, not sergeants.
No problem, he said…I’ll accept a demotion to trooper…and less salary. This is what I want to do.
Sheesh, what a hard-ass.
A FINAL NOTE or two from last week’s Celebrity Golf Classic for Beacon House.
Jay Feely, a longtime NFL placekicker, is taking an increasingly active role in the Classic.
This year he requested that organizers try to set up a new event–an actual golf match between the celebrities with a cash prize. Something to fire up their competitive spirit.
Organizers made it happen. An anonymous donor came up with $10,000 in prize money.
So nine celebrities went at it at Greywalls on Friday, and who won? Feely, of course. And what did he do with the $5000 in first place money? Gave it to Beacon House, of course.
What a year for the Beacon House. The three day classic raised a record $187,700.
In addition, their capital campaign to relocate and rebuild the Beacon House raised $310,000 in one hour on Wednesday ($150,000 from Steve Mariucci, $100,000 from Dr. Matthew Songer). In addition, another 30 individuals have contacted the Beacon House saying they want to donate.
And we’re not talking peanuts here. We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars from each of them.
Yikes, where’d all this money come from? Doesn’t matter. All that matters is where it’s going to: The Beacon House, a home for families in crisis.
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