Scio Township designates 300 N. Zeeb Road


Here's a look at the site and the assessment done by the planners. Image was a slide from the presentation given at the Jan. 10 Scio Twp. Board meeting

In looking to help with bringing back to life 300 N. Zeeb Road, the Scio Township Board approved making the unused building and land there a Commercial Rehabilitation District.

The board approved this designation at its Feb. 28 meeting.

The Sun Times News followed up with township supervisor Will Hathaway.

“The commercial rehabilitation district for 300 N. Zeeb was approved by the Board,” Hathaway said. “The next step is for the Township to consider the application for a tax abatement. There is a separate application for Brownfield mitigation for the site.”

The site is the former headquarters for University Microfilms, Inc.

In his report to the board, interim township administrator Marc Thompson said the establishment of a Commercial Rehabilitation District will make the facility located on Parcel H-08-22-200-005 eligible to receive a Commercial Rehabilitation Exemption Certificate.

“The property owner within the district may apply for a Commercial Rehabilitation Exemption Certificate to receive property tax abatement for up to ten years,” Thompson’s report said. “The intent of the Commercial Rehabilitation District is to encourage reinvestment and economic growth in an area that is financially burdensome to redevelop and has consequentially experienced extended vacancy. The commercial/industrial buildings at 300 N. Zeeb Road appear to qualify for such an exemption. They have been completely vacant for around 12 years and were in declining use prior to that time.”

In the township’s review of 300 North Zeeb Road, put together by board trustee Mark Brazeau, it said in the overview:

“Mark Smith - Owner (and property owner of Mi-HQ -near the intersection of Liberty/Wagner Roads), desires to rehabilitate a set of buildings (totaling 173,580 square feet) located @300 North Zeeb Road that was abandoned in 2012 (Parcel H-08-22-200-005). The property has (3) buildings: the primary structure = 162,500 sq. ft.; a reinforced “Vault” building =8280 sq. ft.; and outbuilding = 2,800 sq. ft.”

“Similar to Mi-HQ, when complete, the owner claims the space would consist of warehouse (for possible building/assembly of new technology batteries), standard offices, wet labs, clean rooms and other special use spaces. Once completed, the owner anticipates that approximately 200 employees would work there.”

“The building is in complete disrepair as it has been gutted by scrappers over the years (One person perished while attempting to illegally scrap materials). Though the building is structurally sound; consisting of brick/cement block walls, and even a cement roof in some areas, as well as a reinforced “vault-like” satellite building, it is in essence a shell - requiring complete interior renovation (Refer to the pics in the addendum). Other than perhaps some cosmetic updates, the owner has claimed that the exterior footprint and overall look will remain unchanged. The owner claims that the estimated cost to renovate the building is $15mm.”

“The building sits on 29.14 acres, however the overall property including vacant land that extends along I-94 totals a footprint of 72.3 acres (Refer to addendum). The owner’s purchase price was $5m(4). To both the north and east; there are residential homes where a fence separates the properties. To the south; is I-94 and where a retention pond (Now dry) was once leveraged to manage drain-off as well as also serve a unique format to cool the building’s southern facing offices. It is also where heavy metal were detected.”

“The owner is seeking Tax relief (abatement) for the next 10 years via the Commercial Rehabilitation District(1) as well as Brownfield financial support as the building site contains asbestos as well as the heavy metals noted above. The owner has estimated the cost for contamination containment at $2.7mm. The owner’s projected brownfield reimbursement period, inclusive of the P.A. 210 abatement, is 20 years. Though Scio may play a role in approving the Brownfield, it has no cost implications to Scio that I am aware of.”

A look inside 300 N. Zeeb Road. photo courtesy of Scio Township

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