Discussing the potential Houghton River Development

HOUGHTON — Does Houghton need a new hotel development built downtown on the river? That’s the subject many residents are here to discuss Tuesday night at a community action meeting.

There is standing room only at the Portage Lake Library. The discussion is about the possible parking deck development project. Should city leaders get rid of the parking deck and make way for new revenue? Some current business owners are up in arms.

Marilyn Swift owns Swift Hardware and says, “It would pretty much destroy my business if they did what they’re talking about.”

Swift says her customers depend on the structure. She wants the development put somewhere else.

But, no one has decided anything yet. No decision has been made. But, the thought of moving ahead without everyone’s say seemed to anger some.

Dave Bach is a Houghton resident and is helping in the organization of the meeting. He also felt more public input should be taken.

Three developers were asked to submit possible proposals for developments to replace the parking deck. Julien properties proposed a $37 million dollar project that would include a coffee shop and a 120- room hotel. Moyle real estate suggested a $21 million dollar hotel, restaurant, and café. Veridea out of Marquette is suggesting a six or seven story hotel and restaurant at a cost of $50 million dollars.

Again no decision has been made. They’re just gathering information.