Michigan Gas buys industrial property
The City of Allegan approved the sale of two lots in Highland Industrial Park to Michigan Gas Utilities Corporation to build a new distribution center.
The utility company is planning a $2.3 million project that will employ 17 people working out of the new office building in Allegan.
The lots cover 5 acres at 802 and 806 Airway Drive. An offer of $30,000 for the property was approved by the Economic Development Corporation at their June 7 meeting and unanimously approved at the council meeting on Monday, July 10, after a public hearing produced no comments.
City manager Joel Dye said the company was seeking property to relocate its distribution center for expansion in West Michigan and the city reached out to offer lots available in the park.
Michigan Gas delivers natural gas to about 174,000 customers in and around Grand Haven, Otsego, Benton Harbor, Coldwater and Monroe.
The company originally looked at another 5-acre lot at 845 Industrial Drive; however, some private property issues were overlapping on to the city-owned property and the company declined.
To resolve the discrepancies, one acre was approved for a split between four families, leaving the city with a four-acre parcel that will be easier to market for future development.
For the past several years the City has been working with the four property owners along A-37 (North Main Street) who own property that backs up to Industrial Drive. With the property having no significant importance to the city, the property owners will pay $1 for each of four parcels in the 1-acre. Since the properties are being transferred to the township, a public hearing was set for July 26 for a 425 agreement. Deeds would restrict any drive, curb or cut into the industrial park.
Another one-acre lot at 715 Industrial Drive was approved for sale to Plummer’s Portable Toilet Service for $4,000 for expansion.
The Rockwell property at 300 North Street was approved for sale for $1 to JML Real Estate. Also doing business as Ropes Courses Inc. the high ropes adventure company is developing an activity/events center in the former Rockwell building and using the Superfund site next to the wastewater plant for parking and additional activity, said Dye.
Council member Patrick Morgan asked if the EPA was still monitoring the property.
Dye said as part of the deed, JML agrees to allow the EPA to continue monitoring and follow other restrictive covenants.
Council member Deb Leverence asked if the property was safe to build on.
Dye said it was safe to sell to the new owners for use as parking lots and other above ground activity but not for homes with wells.
Grocery Outlet Store
seeks expansion property
While no bids had been received for the city-owned property located at the southeast corner of Sherman Street and Western Avenue, a public hearing was held to begin the process again once a formal bid is submitted.
During the council’s pre-session meeting, Jim Hocking of The Grocery Outlet Store in downtown Allegan said he would like to give the city a formal bid for $10,000; however, he wanted to know if erecting a sign for the business was an option, otherwise a bid would be moot.
“It would be foolish to spend money on property and not be able to have a sign by the road,” he said.
He said he would like to relocate the “City of Allegan” sign on the property to an island of grass on the other side of Sherman Street at 115th Avenue. As for a memorial stone for former grocer Ralph White and a few trees planted there in his memory, Hocking said he would relocate them and landscape around them to enhance the appearance.
City council members agreed a pole sign was acceptable as long as the city’s sign and White’s memorial were treated with respect and safely relocated.
Hocking currently has a Grocery Outlet store in Hudsonville and at 400 Water Street in downtown Allegan. He said he has been searching for a location for two years because business has outgrown the store’s 2,000-square-foot building with no warehouse storage and little parking. He and his wife Debbie are proposing to build a 6,000-square-foot store with a 4,000-square-foot warehouse.
Once a formal bid is submitted, a public hearing would be scheduled. At previous hearings to rezone the property commercial, residents have raised concerns over congested traffic at the corner.
Virginia Ransbottom can be contacted at vransbottom@ allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534.