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Bay Future Signs On With Ann Arbor Automotive Think Tank, Gets Aggressive

Monitor Township Tech Park Expansion Agreement Seen Adding 200 Jobs

November 1, 2006       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Bay Future, Inc., the Bay County public-private economic development agency, has joined the Automotive Communities Program sponsored by Ann Arbor's Center for Automotive Research.

"The Business Edge E-Brief," Bay Future, Inc.'s new economic development electronic newsletter, says the program is designed to link the traditional centers of automotive activity to each other and to the companies in the changing North American industry in order to improve the likelihood of regional automotive renewal.

"Bay Future is working with CAR to help retain Bay County's existing automotive manufacturers and to attract new auto related firms," said Fred Hollister, president of Bay Future.

"The Business Edge E-Brief is intended to provide our readers with the most current and pertinent news from the Bay County area, including information regarding our first-class industrial parks, real estate options, recent expansion announcements and other important economic development related information," said Hollister.

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"We encourage you to read all the exciting news about Bay County and then come see it for yourself. Community and site tours can be scheduled at your convenience. If you have any questions, or simply want to speak with one of our skilled staff members, contact us at (989) 892-1400 or"

Bay Future also has recently helped negotiate expansion of the Valley Center Technology Park, Hollister noted: "The vision of a new 70 acre business park anchored by a 150,000 square foot warehouse/distribution center with over 200 employees is moving forward following the adoption of a development agreement by Bay County, Monitor Township, Monitor Township Downtown Development Authority and the developer, Northern Michigan Land Investment, LLC of Mount Pleasant."

The agreement joins the resources of the partners to facilitate over $1 million in new public infrastructure and over $12 million in private investment in the park and new building. Under the framework of the agreement, the Monitor Township DDA's boundaries will be expanded east of Mackinaw Road to include approximately 70 acres recently purchased by Northern Michigan Land Investment.

The DDA will assist the developer in installing streets, water lines, sewers and other public infrastructure. Bay County and Monitor Township have pledged to assist the project by consenting to the capture of new tax dollars in the expanded district that will be used to pay the debt incurred by the installation of the infrastructure.

The township also rezoned the property in May from commercial to industrial to help facilitate the expansion plans.

Monitor DDA officials said there are ongoing discussions about a "sunset" provision in the agreement that calls for reduction in tax "capture" in five years that is feared may restrict future development of the park.

Brian Elder, Chairman of the Bay County Commission expressed optimism about future development: "Bay County is very pleased to be a part of this development, and it is our hope that this project will be used as a blueprint for future development in Bay County. In approximately 100 days, local government, economic development organizations and the developer came together to finalize a substantive project that will bring both jobs and enhanced tax revenue for Bay County."

As the developer of the planned business park, Northern Michigan Land Investment has pledged to construct a warehouse/distribution center approximately 150,000 square feet in size and to have on-site employment of at least 200 workers. Plans also call for several out parcels to be developed and offered for sale.

Hollister praised the agreement: "I believe we have created the partnerships for future development in Bay County that are welcoming to new investment and gets things done. I am proud of the role Bay Future played in bringing the parties together and facilitating this kind of an agreement. The Bay County economic development team is moving forward."###

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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