IONIA – The city of Ionia is selling two vacant lots as an office furniture manufacturer plans to expand into the area.
The Ionia City Council unanimously voted in a resolution to sell two parcels on Apple Tree Drive to Annecy Group, LLC at its meeting on Tuesday, August 2nd. The two 3-are lots are part of the city’s Orchard View Industrial Park.
Enwork CEO/Owner David Powell recently contacted the City of Ionia – according to City Manager Precia Garland. Enwork is a Lowell area office furniture manufacturer founded in 2004.
Enwork expanded its Lowell-area facility in 2020 and now intends to expand into Ionia, according to Garland. Powell is a 1984 graduate of Ionia High School.
As a second location, the company is considering the former Volcor Finishing Inc. building at 510 Apple Tree Drive in Ionia. The facility has 22,704 square meters.
Powell offered to buy the two 3-acre lots east and west of the former Volcor building, Garland said. Enwork plans to invest approximately $1.5 to $2 million in the existing facility to add new manufacturing facilities, along with approximately $150,000 in building improvements.
According to Garland, Enwork hopes to be operational in Ionia by November 15. The new location would employ 15 to 25 people averaging $18 to $22 an hour in two to three permanent positions.
“It is an operation that would bring significant investment and job creation to Ionia,” Garland said during Tuesday’s council meeting.
Powell advised Garland that while he can’t guarantee an expansion in 2023, there’s a reasonable chance he’ll add 24,000 square feet of new building space and create 10 additional jobs around that timeline or later.
The purchase contract includes the following:
- The city will sell the two 3-acre lots at 500 and 520 Apple Tree Drive for $157,200 ($26,200 per acre) to the buyer.
- The City will reimburse the buyer for half the cost, up to $5,000, of a land survey of both properties, which will be deducted from the offer to purchase at the time of closing
- The city will reimburse the buyer for half the cost, up to $6,000, of a Phase I environmental assessment of both properties, which will be deducted from the tender offer at the time of closing
- The City will transfer the license agreement for the encroaching access road at 500 Apple Tree Drive caused by the neighboring 480 Apple Tree Drive property and credit the amended license of $1,000, which will be deducted at the time of closing
- The City will provide the buyer with commercial title insurance at the City’s expense
- The city and the buyer split equally a closing fee charged by the title company
- The City will consider buyer’s filing of an Industrial Property Tax (IFT) Exemption Application at a later date in accordance with applicable City ordinances and policies.
“[Powell]was pretty confident that he’ll be able to expand on that,” said Ionia Mayor Dan Balice. “These are pretty good paying jobs.”