JACKSON COUNTY, MI – People can expect to see movement soon at the site of a new technology park in Blackman Township.
The 145-acre Jackson Technology Park North on County Farm Road has been in the works for five years, and officials are gearing up to begin construction in 2022, Tim Rogers, Enterprise Group of Jackson president, said. The park is expected to create 40 manufacturing jobs, retain 136 jobs and generate $4 million in private investment, officials said.
“This journey started five years ago with a bus ride that Enterprise Group of Jackson and investors took around Jackson County to look for prospective development property,” Enterprise Group Chairman Tim Sparks said. “This is a great new project for Jackson County.”
The Blackman Township Local Development Financing Authority purchased the property for $907,400 in 2018. The plot is north of an existing 80-acre industrial park previously purchased by the Blackman Township LDFA and sold to companies.
The new project also received a $5.92-million grant for development from the US Economic Development Administration in April 2021. The grant was made available through the CARES Act Recovery Assistance Program. Blackman Township is also providing $1.5 million, according to the project plans.
The land is being split between 10 parcels that can be purchased by manufacturing businesses interested in locating in the park. The parcels range from three to 30 acres in size, Rogers said.
Work inside of the park will begin first, including water main and sewer installations. Technology Drive also will also be extended by half a mile north into the Blackman Township property, Rogers said. This work is expected to take place this summer, he said.
After this, work on County Farm Road will begin in the 2023 construction season, Rogers said. The EDA grant will help improve safety for residential pedestrians on County Farm Road, including Trilliam Pointe Apartment Housing and Windham Hills Manufactured Home Community, as well as those working in the area, Rogers said.
“There will be a lot of changes here,” Rogers said. “During shift changes, a lot of workers will walk down the side of the road to get to the bus stop – there will be a lot of improvement made to that.”
The shoulders on the road will be widened to four feet and sidewalks will be installed, Rogers said. This work will take place between Blackman and Springport roads.
A new traffic signal at Technology Drive will also be added to County Farm Road to help slow traffic, he said.
“A lot of it has to do with public safety, and a lot of it has to do with access for trucks that will have to go back and forth,” Rogers said.
The next step is to get bids for the project, Rogers said, adding that applications will close Tuesday, July 5.
Officials the project can be complete within the next two years, Rogers said.
Jackson County officials, including County Administrator/Controller Mike Overton, are excited to see the project come to fruition,
“This is just one more great project in Jackson. Jackson is on the move,” Overton said.
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