NEGAUNEE — The site of a new construction project in the City of Negaunee was home to a celebration Friday morning.

Project developers and officials from the city and county gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Water Street Extension Project, which is the first phase of redevelopment of a former mine site that will soon be home to the 38-unit Teal Lake Senior Living Community.

“The project’s in two phases,” said L.R. Swadley, the project’s Development Manager. “What you see underway right now is the extension of Water Street, which is providing a new street extension to the west, along with improving the utility service to the area. The second phase of the project is the construction (of) the assisted living, which is getting underway in a couple weeks.”

The combined $5 million project got off the ground thanks to a unique cooperative effort between developer Hinkson Negaunee Properties LLC, the city, and Marquette County’s Land Bank and Brownfield Authorities.

“This is our largest project to date that we’ve been involved in, in terms of dollars and job creation, et cetera,” said Marquette County Treasurer Anne Giroux. “It was a real creative way of using both the Land Bank Authority and Brownfield Authority together, which I’m a part of, so it’s very, very exciting.”

“People realize that cities don’t have the money they used to have years ago. Revenues are down, so we don’t have a lot of money, but we’ve got developers stepping forward doing some original investment, and the city’s helping, and the county by the tax increment financing,” said Jeff Thornton, Negaunee’s City Manager.

Developers say the completed Teal Lake Senior Living Community will bring over 30 full time equivalent jobs and dozens more during the overall construction period, which is expected to be complete in the summer of 2015.