County Officials and Amicus Management explore Possibility of New 175-acre Site near Metro Detroit for Distribution, Warehousing and Light Industrial Uses

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About 99 acres halfway between Detroit and Toledo with close proximity to I-75 and rail lines go up for sale.

This is a prime location, roughly halfway between Detroit and Toledo, and we are excited about the possibilities for the site --Monroe Charter Township Supervisor Alan Barron

Officials in Monroe County and the manager of the Monroe Factory Shops at 14500-14760 LaPlaisance Road in Monroe Charter Township are hopeful that the rezoning more than 175 acres of property to allow for manufacturing and warehouse and distribution operations will rejuvenate an area where retail is struggling.

Amicus Management Inc., court-appointed receiver of the Monroe Factory Shops, has solicited bids to demolish two of the mall’s three buildings to pave the way for potential light industrial use. Marc Berry, project director for Amicus Management, said retail tenants in the buildings marked for demolition have been invited to move to the 34,000-square-foot third building at the southernmost tip of the 22-acre triangular parcel. Amicus Management has begun marketing the property for $1.1 million.

Near the end of the month, Monroe Bank & Trust is scheduled to auction off a total of about 77 acres zoned retail and commercial in the Harwood Plaza area located immediately north of the Monroe Factory Shops, all bordering on LaPlaisance Road. In addition to the Monroe Factory Shops mall and Harwood Plaza site, a 76-acre property known as the former Ilgenfritz Nursery is slated under the township’s future land use plan to be zoned as light industrial.

Officials in Monroe County hope to create a light industrial park at the 175-acre site bounded by I-75 to the west, LaPlaisance Road to the north and Dunbar Road to the south. The site would continue to have a ribbon of commercial office and retail use immediately along the east side of LaPlaisance Road.

The supervisor of Monroe Charter Township and the president of the Monroe County Business Development Corp. said the industrial park proposed under the most recent draft of the land use plan developed by McKenna Associates for the township makes sense because the site is located at Exit 11 of I-75 for easy access for trucks. They point to the success of the industrial park in Frenchtown Charter Township a few miles north on I-75 as proof that Monroe County is well situated for light industrial companies that serve the Detroit and Toledo markets.

“This is a prime location, roughly halfway between Detroit and Toledo, and we are excited about the possibilities for the site,” Monroe Charter Township Supervisor Alan Barron said. “The rezoning has wide support with our trustees.” Barron said rezoning requests like this normally take two months to move through the approval process before they are considered by the full board of trustees.

Tim Lake, president of the Monroe County Business Development Corp., spoke in favor of the rezoning at a subcommittee meeting of the Monroe Charter Township Planning Commission in late September. “This is a very desirable, shovel-ready industrial site,” Lake said. “We may have seven or eight other shovel-ready industrial sites in the county, but there aren’t any with such a close and easy access to I-75.”

Berry with Amicus Management said the two buildings marked for demotion were severely damaged last winter when water pipes of their fire suppression systems burst. Amicus Management, a Grand Rapids-based firm with offices in Troy and Kalamazoo, was named court-appointed receiver of the property in November by Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Wendy Potts.

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Matthew Gryczan
Amicus Management
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