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Ford plans to sell popular 26-acre site in Dearborn

Ford Motor Co. expects to finalize the sale this summer of Rotunda Fields, a longtime popular site for community ballgames, Ford Land confirmed to the Free Press on Monday.

The 26.62-acre site at Rotunda Drive and Schaefer Road in Dearborn is considered by the company to be “underutilized vacant land,” said Donna Booker, Ford Land spokeswoman.

“The sale of this surplus land is part of Ford Land’s normal business operations, which includes monitoring market conditions and business requirements and making investments and divestures on an ongoing basis as appropriate,” she said.

The land at 13750 Rotunda Drive is part of four properties in the Dearborn area, including a restaurant, totaling an estimated 90 acres, that Ford put up for sale, the Free Press first reported in January.

In addition, the automaker is reviewing the possibility of consolidating facilities and selling properties that have housed employees in the Dearborn, Taylor, Dearborn Heights and Allen Park areas since the 1950s, the Free Press reported.

Dominion Realty Services is in the process of buying the Rotunda Fields property, Booker said.

The land is currently classified as commercial for tax purposes, and its current assessed value is $1.4 million, or $2.8 million true cash estimated value, while $2.4 million is its estimated taxable value, Miller told  Dearborn City Council members.

Dominion Realty is planning to do a build-to-suit analysis for a facility of 100,000 square feet or more, which will be built for tenant Ground Effects LLC, as reported by Times-Herald Newspapers on Friday.

Ground Effects LLC currently puts bed liners in Ford F-150 pickup trucks built at the Dearborn Truck Plant, and Ground Effects wants to expand its contract with the automaker, reported Times-Herald Newspapers.

The bestselling F-150 is built in Dearborn and at Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri. Ford announced Monday that it will reveal the all-electric F-150 Lightning on May 19 that will be built at the new $700 million plant at the Rouge complex.

The all-electric pickup is planned to hit the market in mid-2022. Ford built more than 2 million full-size pickups in the U.S. in 2019.

In addition to supplying Ford with bed liners, the Ground Effects website says it manufactures side steps, running boards, roof rack systems and various interior and exterior components for cars and trucks. The site features images of the GMC Denali, Ram Trucks and other GM and Stellantis vehicles.

Plans revealed

Dearborn City Council members learned of Ford’s plans to convert the property during a council meeting Thursday,  when it was asked to approve making the land a special district.

City Assessor Scott Miller explained the deal likely will come with a tax break if approved by the state.

“The impact to the city is this: For new construction, how taxes are established, typically, in the state of Michigan, is taxable value times your millage rate. For new construction, your taxable millage rate is cut in half, except for the state education tax, during the life of the certificate,” Miller said, according to Times-Herald Newspapers.

A certificate may be granted for up to 12 years, and extended to 14 if needed because of construction project timing, he told the council. After the certificate expires, taxes go back up.

Miller said the trade-off typically is getting a new building, new taxes, new jobs and it does tend to uplift surrounding properties, said Times-Herald Newspapers.

Following discussion, Council Member David Bazzy moved to create the special district, which was supported by Council Member Robert Abraham, and unanimously approved, Times-Herald Newspapers reported.


Posted By: Detroit Free Press on May 11, 2021.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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