MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – It’s no secret that Marquette is a tourism hot spot. People came here during the pandemic and discovered the treasure that is Marquette and the U.P. Currently, there are four proposed hotels in the works for Marquette. City Manager, Karen Kovacs says there is lodging for every taste.

“The three or four that we would be anticipating in the next five years are very different markets, very different customer base as well, each of them. So, we’re talking about 601 South Lakeshore Boulevard once and in making sure that that goes through but then also the one over on Wilson Street, Baraga, and then The Vault” said Kovacs.

We’re talking about the historic Vault Hotel planned for the savings bank building. A small boutique hotel is planned for the 100 block of Baraga Avenue. A chain hotel along McClellan Avenue at Wilson Street, and the proposed development at 601 S. Lake Shore Blvd. This parcel of land, currently owned by the city comes with years of contamination and is therefore a brownfield site. This 2.8-acre property is so attractive to developers, they believe they can clean up the property and build a new hotel without using brownfield funds. A good deal, according to Kovacs.

“There’s enough interest and enough reason to develop on this property and we have somebody who’s willing to clean that up and that’s an important component to that 601 South Lakeshore Boulevard property, it is contaminated. If it doesn’t get cleaned up. It can’t be used for anything else,” explained Kovacs.

Anytime the word “lakeshore” is linked with “development” people get immediately interested. City Commissioner Jermey Ottaway explains how this property is not on the lakeshore.

“As somebody who lives in South Marquette, I don’t view it as a piece of lakefront property especially when you look at the development that has already occurred there,” said Ottaway. “Basically, that area has completely been developed. We’re talking about a parcel that is in the center of that, that has no access to the lake considering that it was you know, basically a condemned piece of property that you probably would want to let your kids play on. It makes a lot of sense to allow somebody to develop that to make it into something useful that benefits everyone in the community.”

Ottaway and the rest of the commission understand the skyrocketing cost of living in Marquette but need to raise revenue without raising taxes.

“I can’t afford a tax increase, people that live here can’t afford a tax increase because the home values are already going through the roof. So, we want to do what we can to make Marquette a livable community for the people that are here,” said Ottaway. 

There are no specific timelines in place for these projects, however, Kovacs assures that they will be up and running within five years.