Ropes Courses already owns the sprawling Rockwell facility that consumes two addresses at 248 North St. and this one at 439 River St.

Companies seek industrial land in city

By: 
Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

Allegan city’s industrial park has received a $30,000 offer for a 5-acre parcel by a west Michigan company seeking to relocate its center of distribution for expansion with a $2 million investment.

While the name of the business is currently confidential, the properties include two 2.5-acre parcels at 806 and 802 Airway Drive.

The company originally looked at another 5-acre lot at 845 Industrial Drive; however, some private property issues were overlapping onto the city-owned property. Adjoining property owners have a garden that has been maintained for many years. Another property owner claims their septic tank is on the property, and all claim they’ve had private use of the property for 70 years before it was an industrial park.

City manager Joel Dye said the property owners believe the discrepancy was the city grabbing more than it should have. Dye said he found in the council minutes of 2013, the city had begun the process of correcting the property line issue but never completed it.

One acre of land is being proposed for a split between four families, leaving the city with a 4-acre parcel that will be easier to market. Since the properties are being transferred to the township, a PA425 agreement must approved. Deeds would restrict any drive, curb or cut into the industrial park.

Plumber’s Portable Toilet Service was interested in purchasing a 1-acre parcel at 715 Industrial Drive. Plumber’s offered $4,000 for the parcel to expand their service to include outdoor dumpsters.

Dye said the Congregational Kitchen might have an interest in purchasing the same 1-acre parcel for expansion; however, no offers had been received. He said the EDC recommended accepting Plumber’s offer to keep the parcel on the tax roll.

 

Rockwell property

Another major property interest the council discussed at the Monday, June 11, pre-session meeting was a 12-acre lot that was a Superfund site leftover from Rockwell’s original building and parking lots.

JML Real Estate, also doing business as Ropes Courses Inc., now owns the remaining Rockwell facility that is so large it has two addresses—the  big blue building at 248 North St. and at 439 River St.

“This is for Ropes Courses manufacturing and another (smaller building along River Street) is planned for use as an indoor ropes course year round,” Dye said. “A larger vision is an outdoor area that all becomes events space.”

Dye said with concerns of the property being a Superfund site, the company is offering $1 to take if off the city’s hands and put it back on the tax rolls. He told the council to consider the impact the development could have on the economy and the investment the company has already made on the riverfont by building a zip line adventure ride at no cost to the city.

While the Rockwell site has been cleaned and/or capped from contamination by the EPA, council member Patrick Morgan asked for an update on the EPA’s most recent findings.

Dye had been directed by the council to identify and market saleable city owned lots on a case-by-case basis.

“If it were a contentious property we would get sealed bids,” he said. “But these aren’t contentious properties so we will follow our charter.

Virginia Ransbottom can be contacted at vransbottom@allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534.

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