Public Works Office receives $3.5 million offer for M-59 property

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published November 27, 2018

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb County Public Works Office has received a $3.5 million offer for a parcel of land on the northwest corner of M-59 (Hall Road) and Garfield Road.

The offer on the nearly nine-acre property was received in a public auction held by the Public Works Office on Nov. 14. The successful bidder on the M-59 property, a local private developer who stated he plans to build luxury apartments on the parcel, has 90 days to conduct a due diligence review of the property before the transaction is finalized.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done an auction,” Macomb County Public Works Office Public Relations Manager Dan Heaton said. “The commissioner decided to have an auction for this property to maximize the return for the rate payers. We’re not releasing the name of the developer until after the 90 days.”

The property, one of the larger vacant parcels available along M-59 in the county, has been owned by the Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District for about 20 years. The property was purchased by the MIDD for $2.5 million during the construction of a sewer interceptor along Garfield Road in the late 1990s.

With this sale, nearly $4 million in property sales have been completed by the Public Works Office since Candice Miller took office in January 2017.

“We’re not in the business of holding on to land and doing nothing with it for decades,” Miller stated in a press release. “My goal is to sell these excess properties, get them back on the tax roll and let them be developed in a way that benefits the community.”

Two other properties sold by the Public Works Office since Miller took office include land at the corner of 21 Mile Road and Sugarbush Road for $100,000. That property was purchased in September by the Chesterfield Township Library Board as the site for a proposed new library.

Miller noted that the MIDD board agreed to sell that property at below its appraised value to support the development of a new public library.

The other property was purchased for $250,000 for a 4.5-acre parcel along the Hawken Drain, just west of Ryan Road, between 19 Mile Road and M-59 in Sterling Heights.  That property is now in the process of being developed for luxury homes.

Revenues from the MIDD-owned property sales will be used to support ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the district’s assets, which provide sanitary sewer service to more than a half million residents and businesses in 11 Macomb County communities. Revenues from the Hawken Drain sale will be used to support storm drain maintenance operations in Sterling Heights.

“This office is not in the land business. We are in the drain business. I cannot understand why these properties were held by this office for decades, to no public benefit. These sales will contribute to the economic prosperity in our community while providing additional funds for our drains. The public is the big winner today,” Miller said.