Township welcomes new development
Published 8:45 am Thursday, July 16, 2009
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
The ground was broken this week on property that will serve as a new United Federal Credit Union facility in Niles Township, located just across the street from Wal-Mart on South 11th Street.
It was a long awaited ceremony, as plans for the new branch had been anticipated and the subject of much excitement since the official announcement.
But according to the township’s supervisor Jim Kidwell, the new facility could be just the beginning of a new look to that portion of South 11th Street and the start of some exciting new developments.
“We haven’t heard anything as to when or what,” exactly will be a part of those developments, Kidwell said.
But he added that he had been told future plans could include the construction of a hotel and a private road that would lead back into the property where additional development, Kidwell speculated, such as various stores or shops would be built.
“It’s a really unique thing,” Kidwell said, to have the drive lead back into the property where residents and visitors can shop.
The installation of a private road would also mean easier and safer entrance to the area, a concern as construction is also set to begin in the installation of a turning light at the intersection of South 11th Street and Chestnut, an intersection that has seen so many vehicle accidents that the Michigan Department of Transportation authorized the signal be put up.
The developer for the property, which used to be the site of Carter Lumber is Craig Moore, of E.C. Moore Developers out of Berrien Springs.
Recently, Moore has been clearing up his property. He began selling off materials, which came from old buildings he had torn down on the Carter Lumber property.
Kidwell said he is “absolutely” happy to see the possibility of development in the township.
“We were glad to see that happen,” he said.
Some might argue officials have struggled, along with many areas across the country, with bringing development into the township.
On the other side of town, the Eastgate shopping center has been the subject of much controversy as it remains abandoned and boarded up.
Though it still sits empty, development at the southern end of the township is a good sign that things may be looking up.
“We’re really excited to see it come in down there,” Kidwell said. “Because to see more business come in,” is a positive, “especially the way the economy is right now… It’s kind of a challenge but it’s a good thing to see.
“I think there’s going to be more coming in,” he added.