MARQUETTE’S ICONIC ORE dock at the Lower Harbor has been sold to to an international luxury hotel chain. The price? $37 million.
Yuwara Sukkar LLC, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, finalized the deal on Thursday.
Sukkar operates luxury hotels in 14 countries around the world, including Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, Zaire, and Ceylon.
Plans in Marquette call for a 164 room hotel, along with 16 multi-million dollar condos, and a 19,000 square foot penthouse for her Highness, the Supreme Deputy Princess of Abu Dhabi.
“It will be the finest hotel in North America,” explained I-bin Qiddin, the marketing vice president for Yuwara Sukkar. “We believe the city of Marquette will welcome us with open arms.”
The Marquette hotel will be the northernmost of all the Sukkar properties. The idea, according to Qiddin, is to give its exclusive guests a unique and memorable “northern experience.”
Qiddin estimates construction costs will top $270 million. That includes the building of a helicopter pad and a yacht-docking facility at the ore dock for the royal family. Sukkar is also considering leasing land at Sawyer International Airport to build a separate, private runway for its hotel guests.
The contractor for the entire project is Chinese engineering conglomerate We Ho Sing Yu, based in Shanghai. Surveyors and engineers for the company were in Marquette inspecting the ore dock last week.
They intend to import mostly Chinese workers for the project but hope to hire qualified locals for janitorial and transportation jobs.
Yuwara Sukkar LLC negotiated the deal with the Lake Superior Trust Foundation, which initially voiced concern about the hotel project’s environmental impact on the lake. But the hotel company assured the Trust that although pollution discharges on a project this big would be likely, they would be manageable and cleaned up promptly.
Stu Pidmann, the media relations specialist for the Trust, insists they have total confidence in the hotel chain. “They have enough money to take care of any problems, believe me,” he said. “They have enough money to clean up all five Great Lakes. Heck, they have enough money to buy all five Great Lakes.”
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