The Northern Michigan University (NMU) Foundation, in partnership with the City of Marquette, has selected Adamo Group, a family-owned demolition company founded in 1964, based in Detroit, as general contractor for the blight elimination project at the former hospital property adjacent to NMU's campus in Marquette. It was the lowest of seven bidders. Adamo Group and the NMU Foundation entered into a demolition services agreement on June 12 after finalizing approvals with funding partners, including the State Land Bank Authority, City of Marquette, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
The NMU Foundation acquired the former hospital site from UP Health System – Marquette in September of 2022 after completing an extensive due diligence process that included environmental and economic feasibility studies, selection of a master developer partner for redevelopment of the site, and procuring funding necessary for blight elimination.
“After nearly two years working with many partners, the NMU Foundation is eager to proceed toward a new chapter for the Marquette community and NMU,” said Brad Canale, CEO of the NMU Foundation. “We are especially pleased that Adamo Group aligns with NMU's strategic goal to be a model community for sustainable practices.”
Adamo plans to repurpose and recycle up to 95% of material, which will avoid significant landfill disposal while also mitigating project expenses. The company will also hire locally to execute the project.
In September, 2021, the NMU Foundation and Duke LifePoint Marquette General Hospital, LLC formed an agreement framework that envisioned the necessary demolition of existing buildings to enable productive re-use of the site, including housing and amenities to complement the neighborhood and NMU's campus. Since that time, the foundation has led a public-private partnership to achieve key milestones required for site demolition in collaboration with the City of Marquette, Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Legislature, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, the State Land Bank Authority, UP Health System – Marquette, and other private sector consulting partners.
“We are thrilled that the demolition contract has been signed and that this project is making another significant step forward through the tremendous efforts of the NMU Foundation,” said Karen Kovacs, City Manager, City of Marquette. “Together, we are dedicated to delivering a transformative project that will enhance a core section of our City.”
“We are truly honored to have been selected to perform the demolition and remediation scope of work on this significant project,” said Richard M. Adamo, President of Adamo Group Inc. “We look forward to working with the entire NMU Foundation team along with the community of Marquette to safely complete this project in a timely manner while being mindful of the future progress that this entails.”
The demolition project will occur in two phases. Phase 1 will include hazardous material removal, asbestos abatement, interior demolition, and structural demolition of all structures located on the site south of College Avenue, excluding the Blood Bank Building. Phase 2 will include the Robert C. Neldberg Building and Blood Bank Building after UP Health System – Marquette relocates its operations from those locations and ends its tenancy with the NMU Foundation.
Phase 1 funding is supported by a Community Development Block Grant awarded to the City of Marquette by the Michigan Strategic Fund, which was finalized on April 25. Phase 2 is supported by a blight elimination grant to the NMU Foundation from the State Land Bank Authority, which was funded by an appropriation included in the Fiscal Year 2022-23 State Budget and finalized on January 11.
“The redevelopment of the former Marquette General Hospital property will transform downtown Marquette, potentially bringing much-needed housing, retail and commercial space, and greenspace and pedestrian corridors, as well as increased economic activity and new vibrancy to the community,” said MEDC Sr. Vice President of Regional Prosperity Matt McCauley. “At MEDC, we are committed to supporting transformative projects that help create vibrant, resilient communities as part of our efforts to create a holistic, people-first approach to economic development on both peninsulas in Michigan. It is through the hard work of many partners that this project is coming to fruition, and MEDC is pleased to be part of that collaboration.”
“The State Land Bank Authority is focused on making a positive impact on communities across the state through blight elimination and we're proud to see these investments making a significant and positive impact for the Marquette community,” said Susan Corbin, State Land Bank Authority Board of Directors Chair. “With the recent, historic funding for blight elimination throughout Michigan, we are helping communities across the state to enhance their physical appearance all while creating a stronger economy and a more vibrant, competitive state.”
In the near term, community residents can expect the following:
● The City of Marquette will be closing the affected portion of College Avenue in preparation for the demolition project. A public service announcement will be distributed by the City Engineering Office prior to this action.
● In collaboration with the NMU Foundation and City of Marquette, Adamo Group plans to host a public forum to share information regarding the project timeline and logistics. Details are forthcoming and will coincide with the company's on-site mobilization in June or July.
For more information related to the project, visit www.RenewCollegeAveMQT.org/.
About Northern Michigan University Foundation
The NMU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1968. Its mission is to establish and foster relationships to generate resources that benefit the strategic goals of Northern Michigan University. Learn more at https://foundation.nmu.edu/.
Prepared by the NMU Foundation. Media contact for NMU: Kylie Bunting, firstname.lastname@example.org or 906-227-2529. Media contact for City of Marquette: Karen Kovacs, email@example.com or 906-228-0435.