The Houghton City Council will decide which of the three contractors they will work with to redevelop the parking deck area along the waterfront.
Representatives from the Veridea Group, Moyle Development, and Julien Properties each gave a presentation to the City Council at their regular meeting Wednesday before a large crowd of downtown business owners and residents.
Houghton City Manager Eric Waara said the purpose of the presentations was to give the contractors the opportunity to communicate their vision and show how they are uniquely qualified to work with the city and undertake such a project.
“The request stated that the city’s evaluation and selection will be based on which of the proposals is in the best interests of the city, the downtown, and meets the goals of our Master Plan,” said Waara. “As all three appear to have a common general theme, Who is more important than What at this point.”
Veridea outlined their vision which included a comprehensive revitalization of Lakeshore Drive along with an 80-110 room hotel with a restaurant, residential spaces, and a new parking deck that would have an outdoor plaza on the top.
Moyle urged caution in their redevelopment plan…citing their experience with hotel and residential properties during times of recession. They presented a more moderate hotel with a redesigned parking structure without any residential units.
Julien’s vision was somewhat tempered than that of Veridea and appeared to try and blend more into the current infrastructure of downtown Houghton with a mix of residential, retail, office space, and a hotel.
All three contractors were questioned on how they plan to provide parking and access to businesses during the construction and though all three said they would work with the city to provide those things, only Julien had already included a basic plan in their presentation.
No decision was made by the City Council during the meeting and a public hearing was scheduled for their next meeting on August 28th at 5:30pm to listen to comments from residents and business owners.
All three proposals are available for public review on the City of Houghton website.