By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – The Economic Development Corporation is pursuing several options for a closed boarding house near a former trailer park at 17742 Dix.
Among the options are training facilities for University of Michigan – Dearborn and office space for defense contractors seeking a local presence.
“I’d love to do a redevelop project on that building and maybe put in some sort of an incubator,” EDC Chairman Marvin Yates said at the Oct. 24 meeting. “Some sort of job training, or high-tech, small companies, stuff like that.”
Yates said he had a discussion with personnel from UM-D who are currently leasing a small space in the former Dearborn City Hall, which now houses an artists’ community.
“(Melvindale) is a community they are directly associated with,” Yates said. “They would love to come in and be a partner on something like that.”
Yates said he went through the building with an environmental person and a member of the Downriver Community Conference.
“The building is really not in bad shape at all,” Yates said. “The only thing that they initially found was lead paint, and there is one floor that has asbestos in it.”
Yates said there is a grant from DCC that can clean up the lead paint and asbestos, so he filled out and submitted an application.
Yates said he talked with City Administrator Rick Ortiz, who said the city council is still trying to sell the property, so if the EDC gets the grant and the city sells the property, they will pursue other projects.
“But if their property sale falls through, and we get the grant, we will move forward,” Yates said.
After the meeting, Yates said UM-D said it needs training space for advanced manufacturing and the defense industry, which they do away from their campus.
Yates, who works for the Department of Defense, comes into contact with defense contractors who might want office space.
“Michigan is a hotbed for defense contracting,” Yates said. “I do know some companies that are out there who are doing some things, and I mentioned to them the possibility of maybe coming to Michigan and establishing an office.”
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)