HOUGHTON — At Wednesday night’s Houghton City Council meeting, it was revealed that a 10-acre parcel of land from the city on Sharon Avenue and M-26 could be the future site of a new superstore in the Keweenaw Peninsula, and folks have been showing mixed opinions about it on social media all day.
“Last Fall, the city was working on the sale of that property. Through the State of Michigan through the redevelopment ready program that we’re participating in,” said Houghton City Manager Eric Warra.
Warra says that Meijer, Inc. contacted the city in late 2017 inquiring about the lot and to see if the city had any intention of selling it, however the before selling, the property needed to be appraised.
“Based on the appraisal, Meijer sent us a letter of intent to purchase. Based on the appraisal. Now this whole thing is certainly in the ‘letter of intent’ process. They certainly haven’t entered, and we don’t have a purchase agreement or anything like that so this is still very, very early in the process,” he added.
The 10-acre parcel was valued at $200,000 and is located kitty-corner from the Copper Country Mall. Waara said that there are many variables and its far too early to think there will definitely be a Meijer in Houghton at some point.
However, if the retailer did purchase the land and proceed with development, it would be at least a couple of years before the store would open for business.
“From what I understand it could be two years to five years depending on where the want to site their next store. There’s a lot of engineering and site plan review, and all those things in between. Certainly its going to be a year or two or three at the least,” Waara said.
A typical Meijer location requires close to 20 acres, meaning development would also require the corporation to purchase the adjacent lot to allow room for adequate parking. That parcel is owned by a undisclosed party.
The company is making preparations to open its newest location in Marquette. There are also location in Sault Ste. Marie and Escanaba.