DDA to talk Penney’s lot, get updates on projects

ISHPEMING – The Ishpeming Downtown Development Authority will discuss the ongoing negotiations over the future of the former J.C. Penney lot as well get an update on other bond projects at its meeting today.

The J.C. Penney building was demolished in April 2011 after the DDA purchased it the fall before. At the DDA’s January meeting, a motion was made and supported to have a committee sit down with the Mike Koski, the owner of Congress Pizza, to attempt to work out a plan for purchasing the lot and to see his concepts for future development of the property.

“We have a much better idea now of what the Koskis want to do with the lot and how much they can commit to,” Ishpeming City Manager Jered Ottenwess said. “Some ideas came out of that meeting and we need feedback from the whole DDA to move forward.”

The committee, which consisted of DDA Chairman David Aeh, Ottenwess, DDA member Stuart Skauge and councilwoman Elaine Racine, sat down with the Koskis Feb. 4. The committee will report to the whole DDA on what came of the meeting.

“The hope is the DDA will agree with what the committee came up with and that we can move forward with a purchase agreement,” Ottenwess said.

Also at the meeting, updates on DDA bond projects will be given. This includes the gateway project, streetscape project, water and sewer project and Malton Road. The DDA meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Ishpeming City Hall conference room.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401.