MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Marquette City Commission unanimously decided to move forward on the former UPHS hospital Redevelopment Brownfield Plan on Tuesday night.

The project would remove the buildings on the property for reconfiguration and redevelopment. The proposal says the Northern Michigan University Foundation will work with Veridea Group to focus on housing of all product types and price points, including affordable housing on the site as well as commercial uses that will enhance and support the community. The specific components of the development will be based on an agreement between NMFU and Veridea Group.

The project is estimated to cost $166 million. This project is also expected to receive $5 million from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in the form of community development block grant funds.

During public comment before a decision was made, many people raised concerns about the need for affordable housing in the area, Marquette Mayor Jenna Smith says they need to act now to make a decision before it’s too late.

“This is $166 million project which is not city tax dollars,” said Smith. “That is a private investment by Veridea. This will be a transformational project for that neighborhood. If we don’t act tonight and vote on this plan, that building I don’t think will come down for 10, 20 years if that, ever. And I can’t drive by that everyday with my kids growing up in this community knowing that could be a neighborhood. As much as that may not solve the answer to the question that we keep asking, I can’t have it be a blighted building. I don’t want to put a fence up around it and have it be an eyesore for the rest of my kids lives that they grow up here.”

To watch the entirety of Tuesday’s Marquette City Commission meeting, click here.