New development prime example of what area can offer

The Marquette Township Planning Commission is in the review and comment process for a new mixed-use development that, if approved and built as proposed, could become a fantastic asset to the Marquette area.

According to a proposal from the Chicago-area developers, the three-tiered project to be built on 70 acres north of Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, would feature three restaurants, shops, office space, residences and a convention center and a hotel with at least 150 rooms.

The developers have said the shops included could provide national chain retailers that Marquette County residents may currently travel to the Green Bay area to find.

These so-called “missing link” stores would likely include some outlets rumored to be coming to the area for years or have appeared on the wish lists of local shoppers.

The hotel to be built would be family-oriented. Developers are in talks with Great Wolf Lodge, a chain whose hotels feature indoor water parks.

The project is also proposed to include a convention center, which could draw larger groups to Marquette for great events currently held elsewhere.

The Up the Sky Development needs approvals from the planning commission and the township board before permits for the project could be approved.

If those approvals are granted, building could begin next spring and take about two construction seasons to complete.

Township officials want to ensure traffic for the project would be routed to the development without having to access U.S. 41.

We think this is a good idea and we’re pleased township officials are looking for new ways to lessen congestion on U.S. 41 and make potential new developments work in concert with features already in place.

We appreciate the openness the developers have shared with township officials in announcing a great number of the details surrounding the project at this early stage, which helps make planning easier for the township.

We also are pleased the developer plans to build with the progress and future of the area in mind, having stated the project was proposed for Marquette because the three developers fell in love with the city years ago.

Township officials report the developers have been receptive to suggestions in discussions held so far. The project manager said he wants the people here to be pleased with what’s being proposed and would also welcome suggestions from the public on what features to include.

Like the rest of the region, we’ll be watching as the proposed project works its way through the approval process. We’ll be hoping the developers and township officials can reach common ground on which to build this exciting new project.