Ore Dock Beer Garden Brownfield Plan gets Marquette City Commission approval

Ore Dock Brewing Company, Marquette
Ore Dock Brewing Company, Marquette
Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 9:42 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A Marquette brewery’s expansion got the green light Monday night.

After a special meeting about the former hospital site, the Marquette City Commission unanimously approved the Ore Dock Beer Garden Brownfield Plan.

The Ore Dock Brewing Company has acquired adjacent city property and bought the blighted building at 214 S. Front St. so it can build a beer garden. The plan includes $871,000 in eligible Brownfield activity to demolish the building where significant contamination has been found.

Although the city is in a difficult overall financial situation, a co-founder of the brewery says allowing an established downtown business to expand with Brownfield money is a good investment for the city.

“We own a very large building downtown with a pretty large tax value that we’re going to continue to pay taxes on, as well as the land that we’ve purchased that is currently sitting on the tax roll, so we aren’t getting to zero out our plan in order to shorten up that timeframe,” said Andrea Pernsteiner, drawing a comparison to potential Brownfield plans for the former hospital site.

In addition to the building demolition and outdoor venue, Ore Dock Brewing Co. will be expanding its building footprint and brewing capacity. Anticipated private investment is approximately $1.5 million with a spring 2023 completion goal.

As part of the project, environmental response activities, asbestos abatement, demolition of the blighted building and site preparation activities are necessary and a Brownfield Plan is being proposed to reimburse these expenses through the capture of increased taxes generated by the additional private investment. The Brownfield Plan also includes a non-motorized trail connection between the Rosewood Walkway and the Iron Ore Heritage Trail.

The commission approved the Brownfield Plan with an amendment to remove the last five years of Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority revolving loan fund capture from the plan, reducing it from 26 to 21 years.

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