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North House and Dockside Fish Market handoff completed

Mar 23, 2018 08:25AM ● Published by Editor

Many were on hand to help celebrate the handoff of the Dockside Property to the North House Folk School. Pictured left to right – Jane Alexander (NHFS board), Greg Wright, Shele Toftey, Harley Toftey, Nancy Burns (NHFS board president), Mike Prom (NHFS board), and Kathy Rice (NHFS board).  Photo courtesy of Greg Wright

From Staff Reports from The Cook County News Herald - March 23, 2018

On February 28, 2018, North House Folk School and the owners of Dockside Fish Market, Harley and Shele Toftey, officially completed the handoff of the Dockside property on the Grand Marais harbor. “It’s exciting and sobering to have the big day finally behind us,” reported North House Folk School Director Greg Wright. “North House has appreciated Harley and Shele’s commitment to working together these past 10 months. Their confidence and trust have made a world of difference.”

Numerous projects are under way even as North House has pushed forward finalizing the property transfer. Wright officially confirmed, “Tyler Smith and his brother Zachary will be taking over the Grand Marais fishery. They’ve both been fishing with Harley for many years, so we feel great about having them involved looking forward. Similarly, North House is inches away from formalizing plans with new managers for the Dockside Fish Market. Details will be available soon.” 

This spring, North House anticipates launching a year-long Master Planning effort that will inventory and assess the school’s two decades of steady growth and year-round programming. This effort will help both envision the long-term improvements needed for the existing campus while also evaluating options for the gradual evolution and integration of the Dockside property.

The purchase is estimated to be $1.3 million. Specific partners assisting with funding the project to date include the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, IRRRB, and individual donors. “Numerous key funding pieces are in place; other conversations are still under way,” Wright noted.

North House’s effort to engage IRRRB in the project required the involvement of Cook County EDA. “Having the Cook County EDA involved as a partner securing the involvement of the IRRRB was tremendously valuable,” noted Nancy Burns, North House Folk School board president. “Their involvement ensured that North House and Dockside could move forward.”

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