fenton — American Recreational Products, manufacturers of pedal boats, is coming to Fenton.
On Thursday, August 25, the Fenton Planning Commission approved the site plan for the approximately 30,725 square foot facility to be built at 130 N. Alloy Drive.
The property is designated as a commercial area and is currently undeveloped.
In addition to pedal boats, ARP also manufactures playground equipment, outdoor fitness classes, shade and shelter structures, and more. The company is a subsidiary of National Composites, which manufactures composites and plastics for John Deere, Navistar, Crest Marine, Avalon Pontoons and others.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $4 million and create 59 jobs, supported by a $250,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. According to a press release from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office, Michigan was selected for the project over competing sites in Minnesota and Missouri.
ARP is expected to ask the city for a five-year tax break for industrial facilities.
Justin Sprague, vice president of CIB Planning, Fenton’s planning advisor, said the commission received some comments and revisions when the company submitted a site plan last month. They submitted a revised site plan in August. ARP also received a zoning waiver from the Board of Appeals to install an overhead door overlooking N. Alloy Drive. Sprague said they are mostly compliant. They had concerns about what material the building’s exterior would be made of and whether the architectural features would fit in with the other buildings in the area.
ARP will use an underground stormwater management system.
Sprague recommended approval with a number of conditions relating to the zoning court of appeals approval for certain variances, the building materials, certain architectural features, a revised landscape plan that met the buffer requirements of US 23, signage, and several other issues.
Patrick Fenton, a representative for ARP and National Composites, said they will be expanding their full-capacity paddle boat business in Owosso to Fenton. He plans to work with the city on the buffer and other requirements.