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Environmental company assessing former hospital property as part of NMU Foundation, UPHS-Marquette tentative partnership

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MARQUETTE, MI— Environmental and other assessments are being conducted at the old hospital property in Marquette, part of the due diligence portion of the tentative partnership agreement between the Northern Michigan University Foundation and UPHS-Marquette.

The Foundation recently received $52,900 from the Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to fund the assessments being conducted by TriMedia Environmental and Engineering Services. They include a Phase I environmental assessment, a limited Phase II environmental assessment, and a hazardous materials survey.

Dave Nyberg is the Foundation’s Executive Director of Business Engagement and Economic Development. He says the Foundation’s mission is to catalyze resources and partnerships that will advance opportunities to realize the best use of the property in a way that benefits both the campus community and the entire Marquette community. If demolition of the buildings and redevelopment of the site is found to be practically and financially feasible, the Foundation will issue a request for qualifications for master developers, and at that time would consider entering into a private development partnership with a master developer.

Nyberg says the project could have benefits for both Northern and Marquette.

“You could start thinking about reinvigorating neighborhoods surrounding the NMU campus, to provide housing for faculty, staff, and community members,” he says. “We would seek to compliment an accelerate the aspects of the university campus master plan, which could include community space, retail services, potentially an arts and cultural venue, and really looking to add an additional value to the broader community, including the city’s tax base. But ultimately what this boils down to is we’re looking to be a catalyzing entity or an enabling entity, really, to further enhance Marquette’s ability to attract and retain individuals and their families to support economic and community development here in Marquette, right next to campus.”

The due diligence process will last through February of next year. Nyberg says at that time, the foundation hopes to have a more complete picture of what is possible at the site, or whether redevelopment is possible.