Houghton City Council hears proposals for waterfront renovation project

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - In a regular meeting on Wednesday night, Houghton's city council reviewed and discussed proposals from three different companies for their waterfront redevelopment project.

"Well ultimately you're looking at three potential developers who are looking at making a sizable investment in our waterfront, arguably the biggest in a generation," says City Manager Eric Waara.

Those three companies are The Veridea Group, Moyle Construction, and Julien Properties.

The hope is to replace the parking decks that have dominated Houghton's waterfront for the past 40 years, between Huron and Quincy Street.

Each developer was randomly chosen and given time to present to the city council, before a question and answer period.

The first to present was The Veridea Group, outlining their 50 million dollar project. It includes a hotel, restaurant, residential housing, parking, and an outdoor plaza.

Next was Moyle, with a 21.2 million dollar project. Their proposal focuses heavily on a hotel, and with that, space for dining, retail, a cafe, and parking.

Julien Properties offered a 37 million dollar project, with a hotel, increased parking, commercial and business space, and green space for the public.

Because each design is so similar in nature, City Manager Waara says tonight's presentations were more about the 'who' than the 'what.'

"Ultimately what this stage of the game is right now is for the city to look into which of potentially the three developers we'd like to start negotiating a development agreement with," says Waara.

Each developer had to present a design that seems appropriate for Houghton, and fills a need within the community.

"In the grand scheme of things right now we've got to look at ways we can grow our city," says Waara.

Waara asked for a public hearing on Aug. 28, at the time of the next meeting. At that time the public will be allowed to make comment.