First Step for Houghton Parking Deck is How to Pay for Demolition

HOUGHTON – A staple along Lakeshore Drive in Houghton will need to be demolished. Though the city has not gotten that far into plans yet for what will replace the parking deck. During the fall the city meet with a variety of residents during public sessions. Where the city brought in Civil Developer, Pat Coleman, to lead the meetings. Since then, Coleman has submitted his gatherings to Houghton.

“When we had the public engagement sessions last fall what really came out of that is, People really have an appetite for something down there. We don’t know what that’ll be yet, but going forward with this. Going parallel to that demolition path. Parallel to that, is going to be public engagements to really hone in on what would we welcome for development down there. Where it would be. How much of the property?” – Eric Waara, Houghton City Manager

Houghton’s biggest concern with the parking deck is its age and disrepair that has begun to cost the city more money over the years. The city’s has a few ideas of what life after the parking deck could look like. In the coming months the first step for Houghton and City Manager Eric Waara is to figure out how to finance, not just the demolition, but what place making projects could take form there.

“So, the plan would be to finance the, we’ll call it, the tear-down of the deck and general repair of the parking area. Because that’s going to take a beating when the demolition would occur. And then hopefully leverage that with some grant dollars to do some place making. Do some accessibility, do some walking improvements down there along the Lakeshore Drive corridor. And make some connections between Sheldon Avenue and Lakeshore Drive where people can easily transit back and forth.” – Eric Waara, Houghton City Manager

Houghton hopes to leverage MEDC as a grant partner on projects coming after the parking deck has been taken down. They will also begin looking to lots owned by the city that can go up for sale, and help mitigate the costs to demolition. The parking deck will stay up for a while longer, until that fateful day comes.