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Walker officials approve plans for 132K-square-foot distribution center north of I-96

Posted By: MiBiz on October 20, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.


The Walker Planning Commission has approved plans for a 132,680-square-foot distribution center north of I-96 that’s part of a larger 76-acre site being repurposed for industrial uses.

Traverse City-area developer Mike Kolarevic, of ECEK GRR3.0 LLC, is leading plans for the BTS Distribution Center at 3410 Four Mile Road NW. The building will comprise mostly warehouse space with an office and fleet shop. The plan approved Wednesday covers the first phase of the development and is contingent on a rezoning of the property that the city commission is expected to approve this month.

“We’ll typically do this for this particular time of year because people are trying to keep projects going as long as they can,” Assistant City Manager Frank Wash said. “(They) can’t pull building permits until the rezoning is official.”

The BTS Distribution Center would occupy one of five lots within the Northridge West industrial planned unit development, which spans 76.55 acres of farmland owned by the Philip and Judy Schwallier Trust. The city several years ago extended Northridge Drive through the property, which includes onsite public water and sewer service, according to planning documents.

Kolarevic said during Wednesday’s planning commission meeting that his team is working with the property owners on the overall planned unit development “to help our (project) fit in.”

“We did try to go to other lots as well before we settled here. Some of the other properties are potentially under contract. This was really the only spot we could fit what we needed because property on the north side was spoken for,” he said.

The final area site plan approval for the distribution center comes with contingencies, including meeting new state guidelines for stormwater management.

“In order for this to meet the new stormwater ordinance, they’ll have to meet some pretty extensive stormwater quality (requirements) here because they are going from a generally forested and meadowed site to a pavement and rooftop, and there is not a whole lot showing they can meet (stormwater requirements),” said Walker City Engineer Scott Conners.

City staff stated in a memo that they prefer the project use a regional detention pond for the project. Kolarevic and the city have agreed to add onsite detention ponds in a way that will help meet the desired development timeline.

Kolarevic said he also would be able to add trees to the site as a way to comply with the stormwater ordinance.

The distribution center also includes a second phase, but because of its smaller size compared to the overall building, city staff will be able to give administrative approval for the plan.

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