GAINES TOWNSHIP — The developers behind a nearly 1 million-square-foot distribution facility received their final municipal approval on Monday evening.
The Gaines Charter Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve Seefried Industrial Properties Inc. to move forward with Project Rapids, which MiBiz previously reported is a distribution center for e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc.
Executives with the Atlanta-based real estate developer continue to stop short of confirming the online retailer as the client. However, Seefried Vice President of Development Larry Spysinski did acknowledge to MiBiz that the firm has previously developed other Amazon distribution facilities.
“Everything is pointed in the right way. We’re not trying to be aloof in terms of naming the client,” Spysinski told reporters following the vote on Monday night. “The client will make an announcement probably in the next few weeks.”
The Seefried executive said the firm plans to close on the land purchase from furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc. by next month. The property deal includes the acquisition of nearly 100 acres along 68th Street SE between East Paris and Patterson Avenues.
Spysinski also said the proposed development likely will go before the Michigan Strategic Fund in the coming weeks to seek development incentives.
The MSF board next meets on May 22. Three previously approved Amazon distribution facilities in metro Detroit have received around $20 million in state support, as MiBiz previously reported.
The project received Gaines Township Planning Commission support last month.
Township trustees did express some concern at the increased level of truck traffic and the number of employee vehicles entering and exiting the proposed facility. However, traffic consultants working on the project noted that truck traffic is minimal at comparable facilities and staggered throughout the day.
Added traffic signals would help with the ingress and egress of employee traffic during shift-change periods, according to the consultants.
Seefried’s Spysinski gave Gaines Township high marks for helping get the project to this point, noting that conversations have been ongoing for quite some time.
“We started talking with the community probably about six months ago,” Spysinski said. “Since that time, I’ve had numerous meetings and I’d say that the staff has been very thorough, which we expect, which we enjoy. We always try to express as much as we can and be pretty up front.”