NMU Foundation to host public forums on hospital site redevelopment
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Northern Michigan University Foundation plans to host community forums regarding efforts to facilitate redevelopment of the former hospital site adjacent to NMU’s campus.
Two forums will be held at the Northern Center on Tuesday, May 3: the first from 2-3:30 p.m. and the second from 5:30-7 p.m. Participants will receive a brief project update and take part in polling activities and dialogue with other community members. Refreshments will be served.
“The Northern Michigan University Foundation continues to focus its efforts on facilitating an outcome that will benefit NMU and the entire Marquette community,” said John List, chair of the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees. “Through our partnership with the City of Marquette, Marquette Redevelopment Authority, UP Health System – Marquette and many others, we have surpassed several critical milestones toward this outcome and continue to remain focused on aligning the resources and expertise to make this opportunity a reality. The NMU Foundation looks forward to an engaging conversation with community members about these efforts as well as receiving their insight for a successful path forward.”
In September 2021, the NMU Foundation (NMUF) entered into a contract for the purchase and eventual sale of real estate with UP Health System – Marquette (UPHSM), a Duke LifePoint Hospital, for the purpose of redeveloping the former Marquette General Hospital site on College Avenue in a manner that provides mutual benefit to NMU, the City of Marquette and residents of the shared communities.
Since entering into its agreement with UPHSM, NMUF said they have evaluated the full spectrum of possibilities and potential challenges associated with redeveloping the site, including environmental due diligence and a project financial feasibility analysis,
Concurrent with due diligence activities, NMUF has been working with the City of Marquette, Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the State of Michigan to facilitate a collaborative approach for public financing to prepare the site for redevelopment, including demolition of the existing complex.
On March 11, it issued a national Request for Qualifications (RFQ) as part of its efforts to secure a master developer to be NMUF’s principal majority partner in the project, with requirements that the partner will create the type of development that represents long-term interests of NMU, the City of Marquette, surrounding neighborhoods and the broader region. The response period for the RFQ closed on April 8.
A special ad-hoc committee of the NMUF Board of Trustees will select a master developer through an established procurement process and set of evaluation criteria related to the project goals, as laid out in the RFQ. If NMUF is successful in negotiating a partnership with a master developer, including the holding of an equity position, it will seek to close on the agreement with UP Health System – Marquette by May 31.
NMUF invites area residents to learn about work that has been done to date, what to expect from the upcoming process, and to share input on this potential project.
“We look forward to this important conversation with the Marquette community,” said Brad Canale, CEO of the NMU Foundation. “The overarching objective of this meeting is to facilitate a forum where residents can ask questions and voice their input about the future of this site.”
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