Project to redevelop Sara Lee Bakery approved by state


Lansing, Mich., November 28, 2012 – The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) today approved state support for a major downtown Marquette Redevelopment Project at the site of the former Sara Lee Bakery at 857 W. Washington Avenue.  In conjunction with the Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved reimbursement of extraordinary development costs through additional taxes generated by substantial increased private investment.  In addition, the MSF Board approved funding a $1.875 loan participation under its new Community Revitalization Program.


The Veridea Group, LLC has acquired the property and proposes to develop a 150,000 square foot high-density, mixed-use center that will serve as a vibrant gateway into downtown Marquette.  The project will tie into the adjoining city bike path/linear park and be designed to enhance the local neighborhood.


The development is anticipated to spur significant spin-off development of adjacent properties along the West Washington Street corridor, an underutilized area of downtown Marquette.  The Veridea Group is a Marquette-based commercial real estate development firm with a 20 year history in the Upper Peninsula.


The Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has marshaled the approval of a Brownfield Plan and Work Plan that will allow for significantly greater density on the site than would otherwise have been possible. With Brownfield support, the project will return over $11 million in property taxes over 30 years, as opposed to a much smaller conventional development that would return approximately $4 million over the same time period absent Brownfield support.


“We are excited about the prospect of a major investment in this important area of Marquette and happy that the Brownfield Authority was able to assist,” said Carol Vining-Moore, Chair of the Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.  “This cooperative approach will result in the clean up of a blighted industrial site, provide jobs, increase density and tax base, offer downtown living opportunities, and spur additional investment in the West Washington Street area.


Bob Mahaney, President of Veridea Group, LLC said “We appreciate the support of the Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the City of Marquette and its staff, the MEDC, and the State of Michigan to make this expanded project happen and are excited to get started.”


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