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Tech Company Celebrates Grand Opening in Northville Township

After changing a name change and approved tax abatement, the company is officially open for business.

It only has 25 employees in Northville, but soon those numbers will grow as Soulbrain MI, formerly known as TSC Michigan, expands.

The tech company, which produces a part for lithium ion batteries, held its grand opening with a ribbon cutting last Wednesday at its plant on Six Mile Road near Beck Road. On hand were Northville Township and city officials as well as representatives from the state, including Michigan Economic Development Corporation president Michael Finney. Wayne County representatives such as county commissioner Laura Cox and county executive Robert Ficano were also present.

"We'll work hard to increase production, bring jobs and revitalize the local economy," CEO Allen Ibara told the crowd.

The close proximity to Detroit and Ann Arbor, as well as the high number of engineers in the area, were a big draw for the company to Northville. The company pumped $31 million into reviving what was previously a crumbling building.

Ibara also explained some of the company's history saying that it was founded in Korea, where it's also headquartered, as TechnoSemiChem Co. Ltd. Worldwide, it employs 1,000 people and expects to double in a year. As it expands, it is expected to bring 79 more new jobs to its Northville plant within the next five years.

Previously, neighbors appeared at a township trustee meeting to protest the opening of the business because of concerns about the scale of the business and noise with "machines banging through the night," said township manager Chip Snider.

"It's not the case at all. It's a sophisticated high tech process," he said.

Soulbrain MI recently applied for and received a 5-year tax abatement after meeting several township criteria. In its application, the company reported that 20 percent of the its personal property will be used for office space, 20 percent for research and development and 60 percent will be allocated to manufacturing.

Brandon Kekich September 27, 2011 at 07:07 PM
That is a serious investment in that location!
Brian Babylon September 29, 2011 at 12:50 AM
The concern that neighbors have is not how Chip Snider characterized it. They make lithium batteries, so the concern is toxins. They installed two "scrubbers" for emissions so airborne toxins are a legitimate concern. Plus the township seems to have bent the zoning rules to accommodate a full fledged manufacturing facility. This property is zoned for research, development, and office and NOT MANUFACTURING!
ecnalubma September 29, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Babylon: I think your comment is misleading. Give Snider and the Board a break; they have done things well and deserve applause, not the venomous comments you make. I am familiar with the original occupant of the building, OIS, and their process(s) required scrubbers, acids, flammable and explosive materials, all of which played a part in the production of flat screens. Today the ORT zoning expressly states that “Industrial uses involving the MANUFACTURING, compounding, assembling, repair or treatment of articles or merchandise from previously prepared materials when conducted wholly within a completely enclosed building, excluding large stamping plants, such as automobile fenders or bodies. The operations shall not cause noise, vibration or odors that are disruptive to surrounding land uses.” This sounds like what is being done. I attended one Board Meeting when a single person had an objection to this facility, I don’t remember him mentioning any toxins. I researched Lithium Ion Battery Electrolytes and the parent company; I was unable to find anything that would indicate that the community will be at any additional risk here or that they create an unusual danger to the area. I live in the Township and we need more commercial neighbors like this to diversify our taxes base for the community and schools.

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