EagleHerald Staff Writer
MENOMINEE—Something new is on its way to the site of the old Kmart in M&M Plaza, although exact details about the nature of what is to take the Big K’s place aren’t yet available.
At a recent Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, Keith Killen, the owner of M&M Plaza, was granted a building height variance to build beyond the 35-foot limit for properties zoned as C-1, which the Kmart property currently is zoned. The variance allows for buildings of up to 75 feet, which is permitted in C-2 commercial districts. This variance would allow for a possible mixed use center to be built on the site.
“I’m very encouraged by what’s going on,” he said. “The possibilities, I think, for M&M Plaza, Menominee, the county and Marinette combined are great, but it’s still a possibility; it’s not a done deal just yet. There are many important steps to make it possible, and I don’t want to get ahead of the process.
“You know, someone makes a statement about a development early in the process, and pretty soon we’re all expecting it to happen when there’s only a 10% chance in the beginning.”
Killen said he has been considering a number of developers for the project, but Veridea Group, a real estate development firm based in Marquette, Michigan, and operated by Robert and Mary Mahaney, is his likely choice. He described the project as a project of possibility.
“A lot of people would look at Menominee and say, ‘Well you can’t do that here,’ because what we see wouldn’t support it. But there’s opportunity outside of what we see, and having other people that understand that and see those opportunities is what makes it work,” he said.
Mayor Jean Stegeman said she is aware of what will be built on the site, however she didn’t want to “step on anyone’s toes” and announce the project. She said that was something she wanted to leave for the developers to do when they are ready. However, she said she is very excited for what will be coming and that it will fill a need for Menominee.”
“People know what we need in Menominee and what we lack,” she said, “and I’m really excited for this project. It’ll be good for the whole community.”