The following article was written by Tim Lake and published in the January 14, 2020, edition of the Monroe News.
REPRINTED from Monroe News
Monroe Media Group
In this article, we highlight Monroe County as being at the doorstep of new developments that can transform our local economy.
Recently, InSite Real Estate proposed a TDL development in Frenchtown Township at the former Nike Missile Site at the corner of Newport and Telegraph Roads. InSite is a national developer of industrial, office, and retail property that has successfully completed over 500 projects in 35 states with a proven track record in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio.
Over the past three years, InSite completed more than 1.1 million square feet of TDL development in the Detroit market. Between Detroit and Toledo, InSite’s tenant list includes Penske Logistics, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Calphalon, Rubbermaid, First Solar, Vitro Auto Glass, Ceva Logistics, Access World, and Great Lakes Air, which represent the type of potential tenants and jobs they can bring to Monroe County.
InSite’s proposal to rezone and redevelop the 269acre site for a future TDL development represents an investment of at least $100 million into our community. InSite committed to fund all site development costs, utility improvements and any road and traffic signalization required to safely serve the project. This new facility would generate at least 200 jobs with starting wages between $15 and $17 per hour based on regional comparisons of similar jobs; fringe benefits add to the hourly value of each job. Spin-off jobs created because of the new jobs generated at the facility, would be an additional 55 resulting from both direct and indirect employment.
Projects like these bring added relief to public agencies in our community as they provide the revenue to support essential public services such as police, fire and recreation programs. This type of development expands the tax base and further provides diversity in our local economy by strengthening another sector, providing jobs for our abundant supply of labor, and offers opportunities that people can move into quickly and advance rapidly.
An investment of $100 million dollars in real property value would equate to $50 million in taxable value. This would result in over $2 million in new annual tax revenue. With the pending devaluation of DTE’s Fermi facility, we can expect a reduction in tax revenue to our public agencies. Therefore, new development is needed to bridge the revenue gap and maintain our essential public services. Using the above-mentioned example, the projected tax revenue by jurisdiction would be:
• Frenchtown Township $397,765
• Monroe County $277,960
• Monroe County Community College $151,470
• Monroe County Library System $ 50,000
• Intermediate School District $237,705
• Public Schools-State School Aid Fund $900,000
In addition, the InSite development will generate millions of dollars in sales revenue. That money will be circulated locally to cover payroll, utility costs, equipment and machinery, construction and building maintenance, and as we have already mentioned, tax revenue that supports municipal services, public safety and education.
As the lead economic development team for the county, the Monroe County Business Development Corporation (BDC) expends time and effort in attracting new businesses and development to the county and supporting our existing businesses.
I think you can see why this is important when you consider the value that a large business can bring to a community. This is extremely important to a community such as Monroe because of the loss of many larger business operations over the last several years.
Over the last several years the BDC has worked to streamline the development process, the BDC works with communities via our Monroe County Link Plan with a specific strategy focused on preparing for investment. This strategy is important because projects such as the one InSite proposes operate on tight timelines to meet tenant’s requirements.
Once decisions are made to deploy financial resources for a project, it’s imperative to move forward quickly and thoughtfully. Delays related to regulatory and political issues not only slow a project but likely result in derailing a project if they cannot “get a shovel in the ground” in a timely fashion. Tim Lake is president and CEO of the Monroe County Business and Development Corp.
This is part 3 of a 4-part series written by Tim Lake. The final part is expected to be printed in the next week.