In September 2021, the NMU Foundation (NMUF) entered into a contract for the purchase and eventual sale of real estate with UP Health System – Marquette (UPHSM), a Duke LifePoint Hospital, for the purpose of redeveloping the former hospital site on College Avenue in a manner that provides mutual benefit to Northern Michigan University, the City of Marquette and residents of the shared communities.
Concurrent with due diligence activities, NMUF has been working with the City of Marquette, Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the State of Michigan to facilitate a collaborative approach for public financing to prepare the site for redevelopment, including demolition of the existing complex.
On March 11, it issued a national Request for Qualifications (RFQ) as part of its efforts to secure a master developer to be NMUF’s principal majority partner in the project, with requirements that the partner will create the type of development that represents long-term interests of NMU, the City of Marquette, surrounding neighborhoods and the broader region. The response period for the RFQ closed on April 8. A special ad-hoc committee of the NMUF Board of Trustees will select a master developer through an established procurement process and set of evaluation criteria related to the project goals, as laid out in the RFQ. If NMUF is successful in negotiating a partnership with a master developer, including the holding of an equity position, it will seek to close on the agreement with UP Health System – Marquette by May 31.
While much work remains to be done, a core tenet of the process is engaging with the Marquette community on the future of the site. On May 3, NMUF is hosting two public information sessions to inform attendees on work that has been done to date, what to expect from the upcoming process, and to share input on this potential project. It is also hosting smaller focus group-style conversations with NMU and community leaders and working professionals on May 4 and May 9, respectively.
“The Northern Michigan University Foundation continues to focus its efforts on facilitating an outcome that will benefit NMU and the entire Marquette community,” said John List, chair of the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees. “Through our partnership with the City of Marquette, Marquette Redevelopment Authority, UP Health System – Marquette and many others, we have surpassed several critical milestones toward this outcome and continue to remain focused on aligning the resources and expertise to make this opportunity a reality. The NMU Foundation looks forward to an engaging conversation with community members about these efforts as well as receiving their insight for a successful path forward.”
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