Veridea Group selected as master developer for former Marquette General Hospital site

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 6:47 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A developer for the former Marquette General Hospital site was selected.

It’s the same company that backed away from the project in 2019. Friday, the Northern Michigan University Foundation voted unanimously to appoint Veridea Group as the developer for the former hospital property. The NMU Foundation submitted a national request for qualifications (RFQ) in March to solicit developers.

“Veridea was the only entity that submitted a proposal, and their proposal was really outstanding,” NMU Foundation Finance Committee Chair Kevin Boyle said.

The NMU Foundation said 180 entities in total viewed the RFQ.

Mahaney added that Veridea Group’s plan is still in the very early stages. As of now, it includes housing space.

“There’s a strong housing component to the plan with a wide array of housing products,” Veridea Group CEO and NMU Foundation Board Member Bob Mahaney said. “From townhouses to bungalows, to residential rental apartments, housing geared towards young faculty and graduate students. There is also a senior living component which we’re really excited about.”

Mahaney said some other possible additions are office, retail and NMU classroom spaces. He added that it will have to tear down everything to rebuild before anything starts.

“We have done a lot of engineering analysis and structural analysis of the building and the entire campus,” Mahaney said. “Unfortunately, everything that is there must go.”

Veridea Group originally entered into an agreement with LifePoint Health to purchase and develop the former hospital site in 2019, but the developer stepped down. Mahaney said that plan required Veridea Group to repurpose most of the buildings on the former hospital site instead of demolishing them.

“When our due diligence showed that was not financially feasible, we had to back away,” Mahaney said.

Mahaney said the new plan with the NMU Foundation is different.

“The current plan does not call for reuse of any of the buildings, and it also incorporates the necessary funding to do the full demolition of the campus,” Mahaney said.

Veridea Group said it plans to involve the public in the process of crafting the final plan.

“There is a lot of work that needs to be done, including a lot of community input sessions, collaboration with the City of Marquette, the NMU Foundation, Northern Michigan University and all the other stakeholders that are going to be impacted by this,” Mahaney said.

The next steps for the former Marquette General Hospital site development include a Marquette City Commission work session on Monday, May 16 for a discussion about a Brownfield spending plan for the project.

The NMU Foundation estimates this will cost between $16 million and $18 million, with the final project cost estimated between $160 million and $170 million. The NMU Foundation added that Veridea Group will be tasked with raising the funds for the final project cost.

The Marquette City Commission has to approve the project’s Brownfield spending plan, which it plans to do on May 31, for the project to move forward.

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