South Marquette is a neighborhood on the rise

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - New housing and business development in South Marquette may suggest, the area may be on an upward trend.

Marquette Mayor, Fred Stonehouse says 100 years ago, South Marquette was a vibrant part of the city.

“Over time, that energy moved up more toward the center core of the community.--downtown, and the Lower Harbor," Stonehouse argued.

However, with construction on the Fairfield Inn at Founder’s Landing set to start later this summer, Stonehouse says the entire vibe of the neighborhood may change.

“The opening of The Courtyards is doing that now," Stonehouse asserted.

Drifa, the Marquette Brewing Co-op, will be opening soon. There's even word of another micro-brewery that could fill a vacant property on Division Street.

Stonehouse says this additional business will lead to more and more development.

"Because of the oil drop effect. One thing will beget another, will beget another," Stonehouse reasoned.

So that vibrancy is steadily returning to South Marquette and the city as a whole.

“That oil drop hit the water and now it's spreading. The value of the property around the area of the hospital is increasing. The need for additional services for the hospital is increasing. The demands of the people that are working there are increasing. So you're looking at new restaurants and taverns and little second tier suppliers and supply users," Stonehouse reasoned.

John Scheidt, owner of the Huron Mountain Bakery, says he’s seen a dramatic change in the neighborhood since first opening for business in November 1996.

"It's been quite the turnaround. When we came in here it was aesthetically and environmentally a disaster," Scheidt recalled.

He says back then, this venture wasn’t the sure thing is clear is today.

“We were kind of the first ones to come in. And people made fun of me for investing this much money into this area instead of going to the other side of town. And I just saw the traffic count," Scheidt recounted.

But Scheidt says there’s still plenty of room for the neighborhood to grow.

"Everything is moving in the right direction and it's moving at a pace that's sustainable,” Scheidt added.

From the Mayor’s vantage-point, Marquette remains poised to take advantage of future growth.

“The important part with political leadership is not necessarily just to look at what’s in front of you. It's to look at what's over top of the mountain ahead of you that you can't see. Try to look at that future and figure out what that future is to best position your city to be able to capitalize on it to the value of the residents," Stonehouse explained.

Stonehouse says each of Marquette’s citizens have a similar responsibility.

"The key thing to everything is that the residents and the voters of the City of Marquette have got to be involved in the choices that are being made. They've got to be supportive of them. They've also got to be visionary. Look over that hill and see the future and realize that that's where we have to get to. We have to continue to make Marquette a 21st century city and begin to think about that 22nd century city. Because that will be here quicker than I think we all realize," Stonehouse concluded.

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