Meijer continues site exploration in Houghton

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Land being considered for the site of a new Meijer in Houghton is seen in June. The city will work with Portage Township on a land agreement, and also consider rezoning a parcel for business use.

HOUGHTON — Representatives from Meijer were in town again Tuesday to talk about the potential store coming in on M-26, City Manager Eric Waara said Wednesday.

Meijer will be doing soil borings on the site soon as part of its due diligence. It will look to have all property issues settled before making the purchase.

In June, the council approved a six-month real estate option agreement with Meijer for 10 acres of city property on M-26 near the southern intersection with Sharon Avenue.

Houghton will work with Portage Township on a Public Act 425 agreement, which functions similarly to annexation. The council will also consider a request to rezone a parcel to B-3 (general business districts) that will be broken off from the Hope Fellowship Church property on Sharon Avenue.

Waara characterized it as a “good meeting,” but said there had not been a design presented yet. The building is being described as slightly smaller than the one recently opened in Marquette.

“This is the model they’re going with from here on out, especially outside of a metropolitan area,” Waara said.

Even if Meijer agrees to purchase the site, Waara did not anticipate the store would be open by the end of 2019.