The potential purchaser of a 6.5 acre lot on Michigan Avenue said he hoped to soon bring new shopping and dining opportunities Saline residents.
“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to bring quality tenants, restaurants and grocery options to the community,” said Matthew Attard, of GBA Development, LLC, after the city council approved a purchase agreement to sell the property to the developer for $817,500 – or $125,000 an acre.
Saline City Council voted 7-0 to approve the deal – which represents the last of the city-owned parcels with significant East Michigan Avenue frontage. Lot 20A, which formerly part of a property that was once set to be the Phillips television factory, is located between The Oaks Shopping Plaza and the new Zippy Auto Wash. The back portion of the property connects to the property that will house the Best Western Premiere hotel and the future Ace Hardware store.
City Attorney Roger Swets called the purchase agreement a “very good and constructive process.”
“We appreciate the good will and good-natured discussion of the terms of the deal,” Swets said. “We have a very good agreement put together here.”
The agreement includes fines if certain deadlines aren’t meant. If the developer fails to meet certain deadlines, the city can exercise a buy-back option based on the appraised value of the property.
When the process began, the city entertained bids for the land from GBA Development and IHA – a local health provider. Council opted with GBA’s bid because the developer offered to buy the entire property and not just the Michigan Avenue frontage, GBA offered more money, and many councillors believed retail and restaurants to be the best use for that property. Still, citing a lack of health care options in town, several councillors hated to pass up the chance to bring IHA to town.
Councillor Heidi McClelland asked if IHA expressed any interest in taking part of the back portion of Lot 20A. Attard said the firm was not interested.
Mayor Brian Marl told council that IHA remains very interested in coming to Saline and is pursuing another option in town.
GBA LLC will begin the due diligence process and expects to move quickly.
According to www.Salineland.com, the is still selling nearby property off Beach Court. There is also land for sale off Woodland Drive and Industrial Drive.