City of Saline Agrees to Sell Lot 13 to VO Investment Co

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The City of Saline's deal to sell industrial park land to Welt Holdings, LLC, has fallen through.

But now another firm wants the 3.6-acre property located off Beach Court and south and east of The Oaks shopping plaza.

In March, Saline City Council agreed to a real estate purchase and development agreement with Welt Holdings, LLC, which planned to build a new home for National Ceiling & Partitions, Inc. That deal fell through due to construction costs, according to Tony Caprarese, the Swisher Commercial agent hired to market the city's vacant land parcels.

At Monday's meeting, Saline City Council voted 7-0 to approve a new real estate purchase and development agreement with VO Investment Co, LLC,  a branch of Vanston/O'Brien, Inc. The firm, represented by David Hughes, President of Vanston/O'Brien.

The company is offering $216,000 for the property - $21,000 more than Welt Holdings, LCC agreed to pay. The company plans to develop a 10,000-20,000 square-foot single-use building to facilitate an office, sales, warehouse and distribution facility.

Hughes, who has spent 30 years in building and design in the Ann Arbor area, was originally involved in Welt Holdings, LLC's plans to buy and develop the property.

"I would like to be building a facility right now for National Ceiling and Partition. Through that process, I have become aware of the property. I like it," Hughes told council. "I want to invest in the community."

VO Investment Co, LLC is willing to build on spec.

"My intent is to find an end user and build to lease or build to sell," Hughes said. "I'm prepared to start a spec building if nothing comes up in the next six months or a year."

Councillor Dean Girbach noted that the city was receiving more money than it initially agreed on and said the city is also protected by a two-year cap on obtaining a certificate of occupancy.

Answering a question from Councillor Jim Dell'Orco, Assistant City Manager Mike Greene said language in the purchase agreement stipulates that the property must retain its I-2 zoning.

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