Marquette keeps building with new growth

Marquette certainly seems to be booming lately,  as this week's roundup shows, but growth is taking place all over the U.P. -- including in Dickinson County, where they're harnessing some of that boom for themselves with new partnerships and a new strategic plan.


New apartment building going up in Marquette


If you've driven into Marquette recently and wondered what's going on at the site of the former Nordic Bay Lodge and Tiroler Hof on U.S. 41, the location is being prepared for new construction.


That new construction has just gotten approval from the Marquette City Planning Commission for developer Veridea Group to build a 32-unit apartment building overlooking Lake Superior, called the Residences at Harbor Vista.


It's a $5 million project and will include upscale studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments that are pet-friendly and bike-friendly, with access to the bike path and the Noquemanon Trail Network, according to Veridea Group. Features also include stainless steel appliances, high-efficiency washers and dryers, and underground parking.


"We are excited to begin the first phase of the Harbor Vista development," says Michele Thomas, Veridea's director of commercial real estate. "We are particularly pleased to be able to reuse this wonderful property in a new and fresh way – offering a housing option that takes advantage of the existing natural resources and the spectacular views of the harbor."


Those familiar with the old Tiroler Hof property should be happy to see its charming outdoors chapel, still in place through several owners, will remain on the site. The Residences at Harbor Vista are expected to be ready for occupants in the spring of 2018.


Dickinson Area EDA restructures


In Dickinson County, economic development has taken a turn for the better over the last year, as the Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance has gone through an extensive restructuring, including hiring a full-time director and creating a long-term economic plan for the county.


"Our board and community stakeholders have worked diligently over the last 15 months to develop a plan and garner the necessary resources to take economic development in our county to the next level," says Russ Kassin, DCEDA chair. "We are excited to begin the search to hire the right economic developer to carry out the vision and needs of the private and public sectors in Dickinson County."


The EDA held listening sessions with economic movers and shakers, and looked to outside partnerships, including a new collaboration with the Marquette-based Lake Superior Community Partnership, to support their efforts. Now, they'll hire that director to help move their strategic plan forward, and formalize a board of directors to oversee the new structure.


Bayshore Vet Hospital expansion


A popular Marquette County veterinary hospital is expanding. Bayshore Veterinary Hospital in Harvey, owned by veterinarian Tim Hunt, is undergoing a big restoration and addition.


The original building that houses the vet offices is a house built in 1857 overlooking Lake Superior, and has been modified for commercial use over the years. Hunt is restoring it to its original layout and making the first floor the vet reception area, and the second floor the headquarters of his pet food company, Dr. Tim's.


To house the veterinary hospital itself, a new two-story 6,500-square-foot building is going up next to the old house, built to match the original style. It's needed, Hunt says, because Bayshore is now home to three vets and 18 more employees, as well as hosting Dr. Tim's Pet Food Company operations. The construction is expected to be done in the spring of 2018.


Cafe Intermezzo plans Marquette opening


We've just seen Velodrome Coffee open on Washington Street, and Contrast Coffee opening its doors this fall on Third Street, both in Marquette.


They'll be joined this fall by another coffee shop, Cafe Intermezzo, which is moving into the former Strictly Business uniform store as it closes in September. After a brief period of remodeling, the place will become a European-style coffee shop with a wide variety of coffee choices and a relaxing atmosphere to sit and read in, according to local news blog Word on the Street. The owners will be Sasa and Milano Kostic, a husband-and-wife team who are aiming to bring a whole new kind of cafe to Marquette.


Sounds good to us -- there's no such thing as too many coffee shops in a growing, busy college town.