Northville Moving Forward With Plans for Scott Correctional Facility
The township plans to deal with a couple of legal matters before moving forward with demolition.
Northville Township still does not know what will be built on the 52-acre property that hosts the former Robert Scott Correctional Facility, but it is taking steps to prepare the area for redevelopment.
Township Supervisor Bob Nix briefed the Board of Trustees about the status of the property at its meeting Thursday night.
After the prison on Five Mile and Beck Roads was shut down, the township bought the property from the state for $1 in September.
Nix said he would like to clean up a couple of legal stipulations before beginning demolition and then development.
The First Legal Stipulation
As part of the purchase agreement, the state has the option to repurchase the property for $1 if the township does not use it for a public purpose. Also, if the township decides to sell the property to a third party, the state would receive 40 percent of the purchase price.
Nix said he believes the state will work with them to remove the $1 stipulation.
"The state's motivation is really to facilitate the additional development here in Western Wayne County," Nix said.
He said the state is supportive of developing the area.
"I think the [state] will be happy to see the development in the area, the creation of jobs and so forth, and they'll be happy to sit back and take their 40 percent."
The Second Legal Stipulation
The township also must consider another stipulation in the use of the property. The state bought the property in 1979 from the City of Detroit, and the title still includes a stipulation that limits use for the property. If the property is sold for a different use than allowed in the title, the city has a right to repurchase the property for its appraised value.
Nix said he believes the township can work with the state to address this stipulation.
"The City of Detroit thing is more of a title clean up issue in my view; they do not have any resources to do much of anything," Nix said.
He said that Detroit would likely have to pay millions of dollars to purchase the property, which it cannot afford.
Demolition and Clean Up
After dealing with the legal stipulations, Nix said the township can then look at the best way to do demolition.
He said early conversations with contractors have indicated that contractors would demolish the buildings to their foundation for their salvage value, costing the township nothing.
Nix said the township still has a lot of homework to do before making any decisions.
"Demolishing this and cleaning this property up is obviously a priority, but the goal here is to do it without any financial hardship to the township," Nix said.
He said clean up and demolition should not be as difficult as that for the former Northville Psychiatric Hospital because there is no indication that there is any asbestos.
The security fence surrounding the facility also keeps trespassing from being a problem, as it is at the Seven Mile Property.
Nix said the township will need to do some long-term research to determine the best vision for the use of the property.
He said the property has a wide range of possibilities for use, from a recreational park to retail to a lightweight industrial park.
He said that the facility acreage will be a focal point for future activities in that area.
"It's going to be the hallmark for the development of that Five Mile corridor. It's going to take a number of years to do that, but it's going to be beneficial to the township because it's on the perimeter, it doesn't interfere with our residents, it raises revenue for us. It just has a lot of good things to it," Nix said.
The township plans to continue discussing the property at future meetings.