NMU Holds Community Forums on Hospital Site Plans

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) — Several community forum sessions were held at NMU’s Northern Center on Tuesday.

The school’s Executive Director of Business Engagement and Economic Development, David Nyberg, provided an update on the NMU Foundation’s plan to redevelop the former Marquette Hospital, located just off campus.

“We started the environmental due diligence first, understanding if the project is financially viable,” Nyberg said. “And we were able to determine that we could move forward.”

In September 2021, the foundation entered into a contract to purchase the 23-acre property and reallocate it. While it’s unclear what would replace the hospital, attendees took part in a poll about what’s important to them for the site’s future.

“Our role is really about bringing resources and relationships together, hopefully, to facilitate a really beneficial outcome for nmu and the community,” Nyberg said.

The audience was also able to ask questions after the presentation and the poll.

“NMU (Foundation) coming and getting this property for a dollar is just unimaginable to me,” one gentleman said.

“The NMU Foundation should have a stake in this project that would equal the value of the land as prepared for redevelopment, in addition to the money we have left from our agreement with the hospital,” Nyberg replied.

Ultimately, Nyberg appreciated the diversity of interests that would help inform the redevelopment process going forward.

“We talked about the need for housing across the board and what this project could do about that,” Nyberg said. “We also talked about the transitions between the Northern Michigan University campus and the Marquette neighborhoods.”

Redevelopment of this property would require a significant amount of brownfield money, which requires City Commission approval. The NMU Foundation hopes to have a master developer for the project within the next few weeks.

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Harry L. Blanchard