Plans for the grounds that housed wholesale bakery icons like Bunny Bread and Sara Lee were finally revealed this morning in Marquette.
The Veridea Group held a groundbreaking ceremony on the 3-acre site and unveiled the new name for the development: Liberty Way.
Veridea spearheaded the three-year project with the help of tax credits from the Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment authority and close to $2 million in funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
“Owning the property immediately adjacent to the former bakery site, we couldn’t help but notice it and the condition it was in. We really felt it had great potential to be a landmark for the city and help redefine downtown Marquette. We want to encourage the public to come in, enjoy the space, and make it feel as much of a pubic urban courtyard as possible,” explained Bob Mahaney, Veridea Group President.
Residents will have the chance to do that come October when the first of three phases, totaling three buildings and 130,000 square feet, is expected to be finished.
The first structure to go up will be a 28,000 square foot office building housing mBank, the Veridea Group and Myefski Architects, the designing force behind the initiative.
John Myefski is the head architect for all three phases and, having grown up in town, he wanted to stay true to the character of Marquette and the style of its landmarks.
“There were three landmarks that we identified in Marquette. It was the Marquette County Courthouse. It was the Savings Bank building right downtown, and it was the old City Hall building. But we wanted the architecture to represent the future as well. Because when those three buildings were built in Marquette, they were very historic to us, but they were also trying to represent the future architecture at that time. The way that we massed the elements and the way that the buildings are located are really done in a way that I think is more contemporary, but still really respects the historical elements,” noted Myefski, who will be opening a new Marquette office in Phase I.
The $30 million investment will offer a new Staybridge Suites upscale hotel, a 170-stall heated underground parking garage with electric car recharging stations, and a bicycle repair facility just off the path of the existing trail.