DALTON TOWNSHIP — The would-be creators of a large agricultural and industrial complex for growing cannabis have decided not to purchase long-vacant property at the North Muskegon Business Park.
Chicago-based DB3 Agricultural Solutions LLC told MiBiz it has abandoned plans to purchase the 126-acre site at 500 Agard Road in Dalton Township, about 6 miles north of downtown Muskegon. The company had proposed the site for what it called Sensi Park, which was to provide 350,000 square feet of space for growers to use to cultivate crops.
The company currently is looking at possible other locations, but declined to share where those other sites are.
DB3 said it is no longer interested in the Dalton Township site because of ongoing contamination remediation taking place. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted a covenant not to sue for Muskegon County, but has not agreed to assign that covenant to a new owner of the property, which could make the next operator liable for the contamination.
“The county can still sell the property, but that becomes a risk to any future operator,” said Michael Homier, attorney with Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC, who represents the county.
The Muskegon County Board of Commissioners in August approved a letter of intent paving the way for DB3 to purchase the property for $746,000. The Dalton Township Board of Trustees, which owns a former mobile home park included in DB3’s plans, also had approved a letter of intent for the company to purchase its property.
DB3 previously announced that it had secured Northville-based The Wicked Root LLC, a pharmaceutical-grade cannabis grower, as its anchor tenant at the site.
However, the developer behind the project refused to pay for remediation. The contamination on the site stems from a specialty organic chemical production facility that operated from 1957 to 1985.
“We’re looking at other properties,” said Stevan Bratic, managing director of Bratic Enterprises LLC, an energy and sustainability consulting firm that is serving as a consultant for DB3 on the project.
“We have no choice but to look somewhere else,” he said. “The sad part is we don’t even know if we are going to be in Muskegon County.”
Some townships and cities within Muskegon County, including Dalton Township and the city of Muskegon, opted into rules that allow for the sale of medical marijuana. Sensi Park would have been the largest space for growing operations in the county thus far. The first medical marijuana provisioning center opened in Muskegon in July.