MENOMINEE, Mich. (WJMN) – Since closing in 2019, the former site of Kmart in Menominee has been unoccupied. Now following a sale to Marquette-based real estate developer Veridea Group, steps are underway towards the redevelopment of the property.

Veridea’s current plan for the property will come in multiple phases, beginning with the demolition of the building followed by the construction of a hotel on the site costing an estimated $16 million. The next phases include the possibilities of residential property, a second hotel, and retail space.

“Overall, the response has been positive. Just the fact that we can turn a site like this into something that’s going to ultimately benefit the community. said Menominee County Administrator Jason Carviou. “That’s a very positive thing for the city and for the county as a whole. Looking at this long term it has a huge impact on the tax base. That’s going to generate for the city government, the county government, the local school districts, all additional tax revenue that’s going to be able to be reinvested back into our community. And then on a larger scale just looking at what we have here and you have a blighted site, something that’s really not being utilized to its full potential.”

The property’s location on a Brownfield site will give the developers access to certain financial incentives, including Tax Increment Financing.

The Menominee County Brownfield Authority has already passed a resolution approving Veridea’s plans for the site.

Now, a meeting on Tuesday of the Menominee County Board of Commissioners and Menominee City Council will help board members learn more about potential development, as well as meet directly with a Brownfield consultant.

The property’s location within Menominee requires approval from the city, followed by meetings for resolution and final approval in August.

“As a whole, I think from the government side, from the local business side, I think everybody’s really excited about the product itself,” Carviou said. “Then also the potential that the spin-off projects and the opportunity for more growth to spur from this in the future.”

If Veridea’s full plans for the property come to fruition, the development of residential locations could help in tackling a housing shortage facing workers trying to move to the area.

“Across all the U.P., housing is a number one priority for most of us, because all the counties lack affordable housing, but especially here in our area where we have Marinette Marine right across the river,” Carviou said. “They’re looking at hiring a bunch of people here in the near future, as well as the rest of our industry in both Menominee and Marinette. We definitely have a shortage of housing for our workers. So this is a huge step in the right direction there.”

As it currently stands, demolition at the site could begin as early as fall 2022 if approved, followed by construction beginning at the site as early as next spring.