Major Construction Begins on Lowell’s Unused Site for Economic Boost

by / ⠀News / February 1, 2024
"Major Construction"

Major construction work has begun at a 237-acre site at 4687 Alden Nash Ave., near I-96 in the southern region of Lowell Township. For decades, this site has lain unused; now it is being transformed into a new industrial center. Local officials have long anticipated such a project, foreseeing its potential to stimulate the economy by offering job opportunities and attracting companies to the area. The park’s close proximity to the interstate is sure to provide effective logistics and connectivity for the businesses that will settle there.

The site, or Covenant Business Park as it is known, was initially expected to house a variety of commercial and industrial enterprises. However, the project hit a brick wall due to severe infrastructure issues, such as inadequate utilities, sewage, and water systems. Jerry Hale, the Lowell Township Supervisor, stressed these obstacles during several town meetings, calling for thorough strategies for development to tackle these elementary problems. Despite the local government’s initiative and many rounds of discussions, practical solutions remained out of reach, stalling the original plans for the Covenant Business Park.

In a dedicated bid to surmount these challenges, the town has partnered with regional commerce improvement agency, The Right Place, Inc., and development company Franklin Partners. Travis Alden, Senior Director of Community Development at The Right Place, revealed their eagerness to contribute: “We were just really happy to step in as an economic development partner, bridge those gaps, and bring required resources to help realize the community’s vision for this space.” This collaboration marks a significant step toward establishing a flourishing community that not only enhances the inhabitants’ quality of life but also supports local businesses.

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Together, these organizations have secured a substantial $17.5 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Prioritized for the creation of a wastewater pipeline stretching four miles to a plant in Lowell, along with other necessary site improvements, this grant underscores the project’s commitment to environmental sustainability. It also satisfies the support required for the envisaged industrial expansion. This financial boost ensures work on the site can begin promptly, catering effectively to the city’s waste management needs and paving the way for future innovations.

Although plans for the location may change during its construction, the initial design includes four retail spaces, two hotels, and eleven other structures. The Covenant Business Park has the potential to host a variety of industries, ranging from advanced manufacturing to tech firms. It is slated to stimulate productivity, inspire innovations, and spur local economic growth. Its strategic location and comprehensive amenities will undoubtedly draw businesses and entrepreneurs from diverse fields.

The site could potentially facilitate up to 3,000 jobs, significantly bolstering the local economy. It would also offer a range of roles across various sectors, enabling skill development and workforce diversity. Beyond its economic benefits, the project should positively influence the community by upgrading infrastructure and introducing new services.

The economic implications of this development are predicted to be sizeable, with The Right Place forecasting an annual payroll of close to $150 million. This new income stream would benefit local establishments like schools, eateries, and shops. Moreover, it could result in more job vacancies, decreasing unemployment and improving the standard of living. The city may also see its infrastructure and public services enhance, fueled by higher revenues from local taxes.

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Despite the shifting focus from its traditional agrarian roots, Lowell Township still values its farming heritage. Jerry Hale notes: “This project will facilitate our regional growth while preserving our valued farmland, a consistent goal of Lowell Township.” In its mission toward progress, the township is committed to maintaining a balance with sustainability, vowing never to lose sight of its historical roots in farming.

To keep local residents informed of the ongoing project, a series of open houses will be hosted at the Lowell Township Hall. These sessions will take place on Jan. 31, Feb. 1, and Feb. 7. Attendees will have the chance to acquaint themselves with the upcoming project, voice their queries, and relay their concerns to the development team. Representatives will be available to answer questions, provide updates on the project, and explain the expected impact on the local community.

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