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Posted on Thu, May 26, 2011 : 8:10 a.m.

Packard Square developer withdraws state loan application that prompted Washtenaw County officials' debate

By Paula Gardner

Washtenaw County's Board of Commissioners was set to continue discussion about backing a state loan request for the former Georgetown Mall redevelopment on June 1 - but pulled it from the agenda, the Ann Arbor Chronicle is reporting.


From The Harbor Companies LLC

The reason, according to the website: Developer Harbor Cos. withdrew the loan application for the Packard Square Project.

Commissioners approved portions of the Packard Square requests in mid-May, including a grant request and brownfield plan.

However, several commissioners raised questions about whether the county should back a $1 million state loan.

Ann Arbor officials approved site plans for the project on May 2.

The property is located on Packard Road, where it's been vacant since Kroger closed in 2009.



Fri, May 27, 2011 : 4:58 a.m.

I can't believe the commissioners screwed this development project up for a million bucks in rebates on the "improvement" taxes returned to the developer in exchange for the clean up of the toxic pollution left behind by the defunct dry cleaning business. You folks who opposed this project should remember that government funding built the highways you drive on, the Soo Locks that make shipping a viable business, and a number of other projects like the Tenessee Valley Authority, Hoover Dam, and all the levis that keep you from drowning in your own waste products. Our commissioners failed us, the opponents don't understand the value of preventing blight, and most of you are probably feeding at the public troth at taxpayer expense. Opponents to this project just cost the city a bundle in unpaid taxes and a toxic waste site that will eventually pollute the ground water in our high water table. The result will be a decrease in property values resulting in further revenue decreases, resulting in further city debt burdens, resulting in further public employee layoffs, eventually resulting in an Emergency Financial Manager who will need to strip all you incompetant officials of your power to impede progress. I can't wait.


Thu, May 26, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

Let the developer use his Snyder tax cuts to finance this.


Thu, May 26, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

Great, we are on our way to becoming like Detroit with lots of empty buildings that do not generate tax revenue!

Bob Bethune

Fri, May 27, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

This rearction is completely unreasonable. What we're looking at here is a valuable property that has been systematically run into the ground through the mismanagement of the present ownership. Any sensible, competent developer could put together a sound plan and renovate this property. The situation is completely different from that of Detroit, where in many cases no one in their right mind would touch many properties with a ten-foot pole. Ann Arbor is not riddled with vacant brownfields and blackfields, with burnt-out shells of what were once beautiful homes, as one sees all over Detroit. We have a viable, vibrant city, and if we take action when action is required to ensure that development is in the hands of people who know what they're doing, we can keep it that way. What's happened here is a step in the right direction.

Paula Gardner

Thu, May 26, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

I'm trying to reach the developer this morning to update the status of the project.


Thu, May 26, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

If you reach him, please ask him when he intends to pay his back taxes, why he allowed Georgetown to deteriorate even when tenants were present, and why we should trust he'll do any better with a new development.

John of Saline

Thu, May 26, 2011 : 1:24 p.m.

Does this mean the project itself is dead?

Linda Peck

Thu, May 26, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

I am relieved to hear this news! One less failed investment for our children and grandchildren to pay for down the road. I believe in private investment for profit-based business.