by Ray Anthony
MARQUETTE – Since the June 4 '13 groundbreaking of the Liberty Way development project, headed by Veridea Group Development, partnered with the Kraus-Anderson Construction Company managing the construction, progress has moved at a prompt pace. The steel skeletal structure has long been erected with insulation and exterior masonry measures presently taking place, with windows soon to follow.
The $30 million project that will include over 130,000 square feet of mixed-use space, will offer a centrally situated urban courtyard, underground heated parking garage, and three new buildings slated for the development plan. The buildings design, by Myefski Architects, is to remain in the keeping of some of the historic buildings in Marquette. Materials used in the construction of the Liberty Way project, are being obtained locally, as they have in the past, with the historic buildings.
"Find a way to have this tie into the actual site, community, and character of architecture of some of the historic buildings, but yet do it in a way that would be a fresh and new approach,” said John Myefski, President of Myefski Architects.
The project's footprint is planted at the former site of the Sara Lee Bakery at 857 W. Washington Street in Marquette.
Phase one, the in progress 28,406 square foot building, situated on the properties south-west corner, is set for completion in October of 2013. Tenants will include The Veridea Group, Myefski Architects, and Mbank.
Phase two, a 90,000 square foot structure, will be anchored and occupied by Staybridge Suites as the tenants, will be completed by the summer of 2014. The above mention underground heated parking garage will also be constructed during this time-frame.
The Marquette Lake Superior Community Partnership & Chamber of Commerce is a wealth of information for anyone seeking sites for other development plans in the Marquette area. The LSCP & C of C also serves as a site-seeing starting point that can provide plenty of information about Marquette.
The Liberty Way project is solidifying a better economy in Marquette in terms of construction employment and near-future employment with the pending commercial / retail tenants coming on the horizon.
“In terms of construction jobs, on any given day, there’s 30 to 50 men and women working out here, as well as at least equal amount behind the scenes,” said Veridea Group President Bob Mahaney. “As far as full-time permanent jobs, 100 to 200 depending on the composition of our tenants.”
Sources: Beth Cefalu – Upper Michigan Source – TV6