Waterfront Hotel at Founders Landing

The efforts to clean up and redevelop a prime piece of Marquette lakefront land have been moving slowly.

But they are moving, and today marks a big step.

In less than 2 years, the area will look very different.

After years of false starts, plans are in place for a waterfront hotel at Marquette’s Founders Landing.

Marquette Mayor John Kivela says this is an exciting day for the city because the project has been on the back burner for quite some time.

And he’s thrilled that a local family well-known in hospitality circles is involved.

This will be the third hotel in the city that Tim and Randy Larson will own.

Architect Barry Polzin didn’t just design the hotel.

He also sold the Larsons the land — he’s one of the investors in the Landing Development Group II.

Polzin says the idea’s been floating around for 5 years or more.

But it took a lot of time to acquire the land from the city, find a suitable developer and then get a purchase agreement signed with that developer.

The 5-story hotel will be part of an unidentified national chain.

It’ll have 80 to 100 rooms and it’ll create 30 new jobs, most of them full-time.

The existing public access to the waterfront will also be preserved.

Tim Larson says the hotel will have a public boardwalk and an extension of the existing bike path.

The city will build the boardwalk and other new features, and it won’t have to use any money from the general fund to do it.

Polzin says the construction should start in August, and the hotel should open in July 2011.