MUSKEGON — By adding 22.7 acres of land to the Port City Industrial Park, the city of Muskegon hopes to lure an expanding light-industrial manufacturer to the site.
Citing a need for large developable sites larger than two to three acres, the city purchased the property at 2420 Remembrance Drive for $340,500. According to City Manager Frank Peterson, the addition is aimed at meeting the needs of “today’s manufacturers,” while also spurring the creation of 150 to 250 full-time jobs.
“We are targeting one particular company,” Peterson wrote in an email to MiBiz. “While we are not in a position to announce which company that is at this time, we do expect that their investment in the property will be significant. The industry-type that we are seeking for the site would likely be classified as light-industrial — including some processing, assembly, and distribution.”
According to Peterson, the prospective tenant has roots in the region. Although the city’s original plans were to attract more than one company to the expanded industrial park, officials “found the tenant very quickly,” he said of the unspecified company.
“If it did not come to fruition, we would continue with our original plan, which was to acquire and market the land for multiple end users,” Peterson said. “(Now), the end user will essentially occupy 100 percent of the buildable space.”
In seeking approval for the land purchase, the city said it had been limited in its ability to attract large-scale projects because it lacked suitable parcels.
“The City of Muskegon is in need of industrial development but lacks readily available land to meet the needs of today’s industrial end users. Muskegon has been working very hard to attract new industrial end users to our community; however, because we are an older land-locked city, we lack in cohesive developable land beyond 2-3 acre sites,” according to a request the planning and economic development committees submitted to the City Commission.
The city tapped an economic development fund to purchase the property. It expects to recoup the cost once the property is sold to the “developer(s) in a manner that is cost neutral to the city,” he said. Currently, the Port City Industrial Park has more than 30 operating tenants, all of which own their own property.
While a groundbreaking timeline for the site remains unknown, Peterson said he hopes construction activity will start in June or July of this year.
“From a job standpoint, we believe a development this size would employ between 150 and 250 (full-time employees),” Peterson said.
It’s been “many years” since any sort of addition has been made to the industrial park, Peterson said, adding that the site will need some road improvements and water service lines.