City hears Lakeshore Boulevard land transfer offer

MARQUETTE – Though he died in December, Marquette resident and business owner Clark Lambros is leaving behind more than memories.

Addressing the Marquette City Commission Monday on behalf of the Lambros family, Marquette resident Michelle Butler offered up a future city park, to be dedicated to Lambros, the owner of Vango’s restaurant.

“Tonight I am here to continue the legacy of a longtime Marquette resident and businessman, Clark Lambros,” she said during the commission’s public comment period. “We, the family, would like to make a large portion of our property on Lakeshore Boulevard available to the city so that it can be enjoyed by its citizens in perpetuity as a park.”

The park would be located on a roughly 14-acre parcel of land along Lakeshore Boulevard, bordered by both Lake Superior and the Dead River. The park, according to Butler, would be called Clark’s Park, in honor of both Lambros and his son of the same name.

In addition to telling her there were no shortcuts to good cooking, Butler said, Lambros always told her to give back to the community that supports you.

“As many of you know, Clark Lambros passed away Dec. 14. Clark’s heart had become very weak, but he was always filled with a lot of love for Marquette and for this community.

“Clark was not always the face behind our good deeds, but he was always the deciding voice.”

Butler said she and Lambros’ daughters – along with a pair of local architects – had discussed the donation with city officials, who she described as being “very supportive” of the concept.

In conjunction with the city, Butler said, the Lambros family would cosponsor an application to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund for the purchase of the land.

“As a family we will provide the funds necessary to match this grant request so that the purchase of the property will come at no cost to the city,” she said. “The profits from the sale of this land will then be used by our family to physically construct the park and amenities so that not only is the land in the public domain, but the physical park infrastructure, as well. We’re committed to covering expenses in the application process and are poised to carry out the work with the city’s support so that a final application can be presented to the commission, for your approval, at your March 25 meeting.”

The property in question has about 1,500 feet of frontage on Lake Superior, Butler said.

During the commissioner comment section at the conclusion of Monday’s meeting, the city’s elected officials offered thanks to the Lambros family.

“He’s from a generation when people did things like this,” Commissioner Don Ryan said of Lambros. “He was a unique member of our community and contributed in many ways. Hopefully this is something that we can see through to fruition.”

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.