Menards has a deal to build store near Ann Arbor
Menard Inc., a family owned Midwest home improvement chain, has a contract to buy property for a store near Ann Arbor.
The company has the former Farmer Grant land in Scio Township under contract, the property owner confirmed Tuesday.
The property is located at the corner of Jackson and Staebler Roads, just west of the Meijer store at Jackson and Zeeb.
The 165-acre site was a target of development in 2008, when developers planned to build a roughly $100 million mixed-use project called The Village at Honey Creek. The project included 55 acres of commercial and 90 acres of residential space.
Mel Vanderbrug, a developer who owns part of the property, said the project fell through due to zoning issues and the crash in the real estate market. Vanderbrug owns the property with Don Colone, operating as Scio Properties LLC.
Now, Vanderbrug said Menards wants to build a store on a portion of the site and the company is currently under contract to purchase the property.
Scio Township Supervisor Spaulding Clark said Menards has submitted a rezoning request to the Township to rezone part of the site for general commercial use.
For years, the property has been ‘conditionally zoned’, Clark said, meaning it was dependent on the nature of the proposed development. With The Village at Honey Creek development, the property would have been a mix of commercial, light industrial and residential zoning.
“So what’s happening now, is Menards has come in and said they want just commercial zoning,” Clark said. “They need that zoning to accommodate their use and have filed proposed plans.”
Clark said the request will go before the Scio Township Planning Commission in the coming weeks.
Menards’ interest in the Washtenaw County area dates back to 2010, when the company filed a rezoning petition with Pittsfield Township to build a 162,000-square-foot store at 4700 Carpenter Road.
The Pittsfield Township Planning Commission voted to deny the rezoning request from light industrial to commercial, and the Board of Trustees then voted to accept the recommendation.
Rezoning the land would not have been in keeping with the township’s Master Land Use plan, said Township Clerk Alan Israel at the time. A report noted issues such as the traffic and congestion the project could create and that it would set a precedent for commercial zoning on both sides of Carpenter Road.
After the request was denied, Menards confirmed it would continue to search for a location in Washtenaw County.
Tom O’Neil of Menards’ real estate division declined to comment regarding the company’s plans for the Scio Township site.
Wisconsin-based Menards has 262 locations in 13 states, including nine locations in Michigan.
The company is also currently looking to build stores in Warren, Livonia and Kalamazoo County, and is in various stages of approval for rezoning requests and site plans for those stores.