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Wednesday, 18 April 2012 19:35

Former GM site to be marketed as Site36

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WYOMING — The Right Place, Lormax Stern and the City of Wyoming hope a new marketing strategy for the former GM stamping plant on 36th Street will get global companies to notice of what the site can offer.

The redevelopment project will now go by the name of Site36.

Birgit Klohs, president and CEO of The Right Place Inc., said the project is a top initiative for the economic development agency. She said The Right Place has pitched the site to 70 firms in the Unites States, Europe and Asia primarily in the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, food processing and alternative energy markets.

However, Klohs said they’re not just marketing directly to firms in a rifle-shot approach. The organization is also reaching out to site consultants, who companies use to search out possible locations for their business expansions.

“The way this games goes, you make contact and you never let go,” she said. “It’s a delicate balance of being a nuisance and being persistent.”

Because of the unique infrastructure and limited availability of other such sites, the development team chose a strategy that would avoid parceling off the property. While it may take more time to find a company that’s a proper fit, the long-term strategy is worth the wait, according to Klohs.

“This is a game of patience,” she said. “We are looking for a very specific company. (With) a very special company and a site of this size and a building of 400,000 to 900,000 square feet, we’re looking at a $50 million to $100 million project.”

Klohs said she easily expects the search to be an 18-month to 36-month process.

A new Next Michigan Development Corporation, the West Michigan Economic Partnership, is also aiding the project. Created by The Right Place in partnership with Muskegon Area First and other local governments, the West Michigan Economic Partnership allows certain properties to receive a bevy of incentives including tax abatements and renaissance zone designation.

She said there is plenty of competition from other states and potentially other countries. Still, in spite of the competition, Klohs said she doesn’t want a company whose first question out of their mouth is what is the incentive package.

“What we all want is a company or companies that says this is a tremendous site, this is a tremendous community and by the way do you have some sweeteners for the coffee,” she said.

Jason Horton, of counsel for Lormax Stern, said he expects the remediation process for the site to be done by late summer.

Read 1458 times Last modified on Thursday, 09 August 2012 16:12

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