New development coming to former Visteon property

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 28, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A viable solution is on the horizon for what has been a problem area in Shelby Township for years.

The Macomb County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Shelby Township and the Macomb County Board of Commissioners all recently approved a brownfield plan for the southeast corner of Mound and 23 Mile roads, the site of the former Visteon plant.

Hillwood Enterprises, a development company based out of Illinois, plans to remediate the contaminated property using tax increment financing for eligible reimbursement to the tune of approximately $9.1 million over a 20-year capture period.

The project, dubbed “Project Millennium,” is described as a 1-million-square-foot “logistics optimization center,” or warehouse, that will create up to a proposed 1,000 new jobs.

Shelby Township Planner Glenn Wynn said Hillwood Enterprises plans to redevelop 85 acres on the approximately 200-acre property located at 50500 Mound Road.

“There’s not a whole lot of risk — if the value isn’t increased, then the tax break isn’t realized,” Wynn said. “It’s very positive, having the Brownfield Authority in place.”

Wynn praised the cooperation between the county, township, private developer and other parties involved for their collaboration to make the remediation and redevelopment efforts a reality. He said the township’s principal role was approving the site plan.

Hillwood Enterprises proposes to demolish the existing structures at the site, clean up contaminated soils, manage and prevent the further spread of contaminated soils, and “ultimately return a highly unproductive property back to (the) community as an economic and environmental asset,” according to the brownfield plan prepared by the MCBRA and Bonner Advisory Group.

The property was previously used for industrial purposes, including automobile manufacturing, from 1951 to 2009 by Ford Motor Co., Visteon Corp. and Automotive Components Holdings LLC, according to the brownfield plan.

Shelby Township and Macomb County officials declined to comment on the potential tenant coming into Shelby Township, citing a nondisclosure agreement.

John Paul Rea, director of the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, said there are still ongoing negotiations in regard to possible tenants.

“We hope to have additional information soon,” he said. “We are getting close to putting the finishing touches (on the project).”

The next step in the process, Rea said, is for Shelby Township to review some final elements at a Sept. 7 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting at the township municipal building, located at 52700 Van Dyke Ave.

“The $10 million partnership through the TIF is essentially going to facilitate a $90 million-plus development,” Rea said. “It’s a great step in the right direction. Incredible partnership has been displayed on all fronts.”

The hazardous contamination at the site, he said, is “nothing really that cannot be remediated,” with the target of making the land “viable.”

Hillwood Enterprises and the Ann Arbor-based Bonner Advisory Group did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

For more information, call the Shelby Township Supervisor’s Office at (586) 731-5154.