MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – A home along the Lake Superior Shoreline in the city of Marquette has been in the same family since the 1800’s. Now this prime piece of real estate is up for sale and the city could be its new owners.

The sale is being discussed at Monday night’s City Commission meeting.

The home at 702 Lakeshore Boulevard sits near the intersection of Hewitt Street.

Marquette City Manager Mike Angeli told us how the conversation for the sale started.

“A few months ago, the property owner which is the Anthony family, approached me and asked if we’d be interested in purchasing it. The father, the patriarch of the family had passed away and they wanted to give the city the first options,” said Angeli.

Following an appraisal and survey of the property, Angeli when it came time to negotiate the sale, it was evident to the appraisal price was not going to be enough.

According to the agenda:

An appraisal was ordered from Swanson, Mercier & Associates, Inc. and an appraised value of $235,000 was determined. In further discussions with the property owner and given the unique value and location of the residence, a purchase price of $350,000 was reached with the inclusion of some type of recognition of the history of the location and its relationship to the Anthony family as an additional component.

“It’s one of the rare pieces of property that’s on the lake,” said Angeli. “They almost never come up for sale or availability to anybody. It’s been a longstanding effort on the part of several city commissions to establish as much shore line for public use as possible.”

Angeli said the city has no definite plans for the property at this time.

“It will not be sold or resold or developed. As long as I’ve been around, there’s never been a commission interested in doing that with any property on the lakeside.” Angeli continued, “There are some thoughts being bantered about like a short-term rental or other small access to the beach for citizens. Right now our main focus is to just obtain the property and go from there.”

So where is the money coming from? According to the commission agenda, this unplanned purchase would come from the General Fund.

“It’s all public funds. Whether it comes from taxes or other means, it’s all public money. The property we’re buying is for public use. So it’s not going to any personal use or anything like that.” Angeli continued, “However, withing the last few years, we’ve sold several other pieces of city property in the area of two million dollars. That money has been placed in a reserve. So that is money that is available for this kind of a purchase.”

Angeli said having the property in public ownership will prevent it from being developed, sold, or improved on in a way that the public might not appreciate.

The next steps would be to take a purchase agreement to the sellers, then bring it back to commission for final approval.