Archived Story

20 new jobs could move into Wickes

Published 8:58pm Monday, July 2, 2012

Niles Charter Township took the first step Monday night to establish the former Wickes Lumber property at 2147 S. 11th St. as a Commercial Rehabilitation District for MacAllister Machinery of Indianapolis to create 20 new permanent jobs.

MacAllister will also utilize 25 construction jobs during rehabilitation of the building Wickes vacated in 2003.

MacAllister provides heavy machinery to large-scale construction projects on a rental basis. MacAllister also offers businesses and governments comprehensive construction solutions, including financing and project management expertise.

In addition to these services, MacAllister will also conduct service and maintenance of equipment.

The six-acre project site contains a 41,000-square-foot metal building and two 7,200-square-foot structures.

Rehabilitation includes retrofitting and upgrading the electrical and HVAC systems, thermal and moisture insulation, replacement and addition of new doors and windows and finishing the interior to accommodate MacAllister’s business operations.

Shelley Klug, executive director of Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance in Niles, said the location qualifies as a Commercial Rehabilitation District, as it is more than three acres in size.

The company owns all six acres, meeting the requirement that the owners of 50 percent of the proposed district request it. The buildings are more than 15 years old and the intended purpose is a commercial business enterprise.

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners considers the request later this month and another public hearing before the company formally submits an application for a commercial rehabilitation exemption certificate.

“The incentive freezes existing taxable value of the building alone — not the land —for a period of time,” Klug said.

“I’m in favor of the district,” Treasurer Jim Ringler said, but abstained from the 6-0 vote because he was party to the real estate transaction.

The Legislature created Commercial Rehabilitation Act 210 in 2005.

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