County Board Votes on Brownfield Plans

Action was taken on two brownfield plans during the Dec. 7, 2011 meeting of the Washtenaw County board of commissioners.

The board gave final approval to a brownfield plan for Ford Motor Co’s Rawsonville plant, after holding a public hearing on the plan earlier in the meeting. The plan would allow Ford to apply for $625,000 in Michigan Business Tax credits. According to a staff memo, the plan – with the potential tax credits – would allow the company to retain 260 jobs by bringing back work that’s currently done in China and Mexico. Investment in 2012 would be about $20 million, with total jobs stabilized at about 700 workers.

Commissioners also give initial approval to a brownfield plan for Arbor Hills Crossing, a proposed retail and office complex at Platt and Washtenaw. The Ann Arbor city council approved the plan at its Dec. 5 meeting, and final approval from the county board will likely occur at its Jan. 18, 2012 meeting, when a public hearing is set. The project involves tearing down three vacant commercial structures and putting up four one- and two-story buildings throughout the 7.45-acre site – a total of 90,700-square-feet of space for retail stores and offices. Three of the buildings would face Washtenaw Avenue, across the street from the retail complex where Whole Foods grocery is located. The site would include 310 parking spaces. The brownfield plan includes $6.7 million in tax increment financing to be paid back over a 19-year period.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor, where the board of commissioners holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]