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Hold the celebration: Virus pushes back Venue 906 opening

2020 Progress Edition

PART OF THE TEAM behind Venue 906, the group converting the former Lake Shore Systems Inc. property at 900 W. Breitung Ave. in Kingsford into a facility for hosting events, with capacity for roughly 500 people. From left are Mason Staedt, Brad Staedt, Lori Staedt and Tony Doda, by the bar being installed in the building. (Betsy Bloom/Daily News photo)

KINGSFORD — Venue 906 had been slated to open this month, a setting to celebrate weddings and other special events.

Then COVID-19 emerged and the governor shut down most activities in Michigan, including construction, as part of a stay-at-home order to try to contain spread of the virus.

All of the contractors — plumbers, heating, electricians — hired to remake the former Lake Shore Systems Inc. property at 900 W. Breitung Ave. in Kingsford had to halt work on the site in the spring, owners Brad and Lori Staedt said.

The renovation is just now resuming, restarting this past Wednesday and getting back into full swing this week. But they already had to cancel weddings, with others putting off their event for an entire year.

“Some people opted to do a smaller ceremony and celebrate later,” said Brittany Linsmeyer, who is part of the business.

Their first wedding now won’t come until Sept. 19 — and it’ll be for Linsmeyer, who said she had to postpone from the original June 5 date.

But the Staedts said they’re determined to have Venue 906 ready to go in the fall — and not just to accommodate Linsmeyer, their daughter.

“We’ve had a ton of interest,” said Lori Staedt, who also runs Exhale 906 salon and spa in downtown Iron Mountain. Linsmeyer has the Blind Pig 906 tavern downtown.

“We do have a bunch of people on our list, as soon as we’re ready,” Linsmeyer said.

The Staedts’ RR Downtown LLC of Iron Mountain plans to make $2.5 million in improvements to the property, which they purchased in March 2019.

Those plans call for creating 30 apartments of various sizes in part of the building. The former manufacturing space and warehouse will be turned into Venue 906, with a capacity to accommodate roughly 500 people.

The Dickinson County Board in January approved making the 8-acre property a brownfield site so it would be eligible to have environmental costs offset by property taxes. About $650,000 of the Staedts’ investment is expected to qualify.

Kingsford City Council earlier had designated the property as a Commercial Rehabilitation District, which provides the tax exemption for qualified businesses that are repurposed.

The Staedts will install a new marbleized epoxy floor, large glass doors, a full bar area, commercial kitchen and restrooms.

The Kingsford property formerly housed Oldenburg Group Inc. that became Lake Shore Systems. It had been vacant for about nine years after Oldenburg moved to a new facility at 2141 Woodward Ave. in Kingsford.

Brad Staedt, a contractor for about 30 years, said he’d eyed the property for some time for development.

When renovated, it will have special suites for the bride and groom to prepare before wedding ceremonies and receptions. It also will be capable of hosting family and class reunions, anniversaries, birthday parties and other gatherings, the Staedts said.

“Any kind of a banquet kind of thing,” Lori Staedt said, adding, “it’s not just a banquet hall — you can do anything here.”

They expect to add a patio and other outdoor space next year.

For more information on Venue 906, go to the web page at https://venue906.com.

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The Daily News’ 2020 Progress Edition — with stories on business, industry, health, recreation and more in the region — is in today’s The Daily News

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