APL building sale cloaked in mystery, buyer could employ up to 100 at Hagar Twp. site
By Jon Bisnett The word at the Hagar Township board meeting on Monday, July 9 is July 19 for the real estate closing of the sale of the former APL complex that has been idle for nearly two years displacing some 50 workers at the site located at 4412 Coloma Road.
SALE PENDING… The idled APL Logistics complex on Coloma Road in Hagar Township is slated to reemerge later this month when a yet unnamed buyer will close on the property. Cornerstone Alliance Business Development Manager Cathy Tilley remains “tight lipped” on the identity of the company except to say they are tied to the automotive industry and will use the facility for distribution and warehousing to the tune of as many as 100 employees. “It would be safe to say this is the biggest company to come here in a long time…” said Tilley. (TCR photo by Jon Bisnett)
The Cornerstone Alliance has been instrumental in finding a buyer but has been quite secretive in revealing the name of the company involved. Cornerstone Business Development Manager Cathy Tilley gave clues only to the degree that the entity has two other manufacturing facilities in Michigan and is tied to the auto industry. The Hagar site will serve as distribution and warehousing, potentially employing as many as 100 workers. Closing is scheduled for July 19, while steps have been taken to seek a tax abatement project over $500,000 in repair and updates to get the site up and running. The Hagar board is thrilled to see the reemergence of the property near at hand. Trustee Andy Ulleg commented, “We saw a lot of local people get hurt by the APL pull-out and to think this new opportunity may double the amount of jobs offered previously is just great!” Tilley added to the mystery by saying, “This is the biggest company to come to Southwest Michigan in a very long time.” Guests Commissioner Dave Vollrath visited sharing updates on the new Paw Paw River County Park currently under construction in Watervliet. Construction is said to be on schedule and expected to be completed before fall. The 79th District State Representative hopefuls Maria Moen and Troy Rolling visited as well, each seeking a spot in the Republican ballot for fall via the August Primary. Candidates Bruce Gorenflo and Pauline Wendzel had already visited previously in June. Supervisor’s Report Supervisor Izzy DiMaggio had just one item on his report introducing a motion to schedule a public hearing, at the request of the Cornerstone Alliance to establish an Industrial Development District for 4412 Coloma Road, for 7:15 p.m. at the upcoming August regular township board meeting. Clerk’s Report Clerk Sarah Rodriguez had not received an activity report from Pride Care Ambulance due to the holiday. With the August Primary in mind, Sarah is always looking for election workers to volunteer. Treasurer’s Report Treasurer Marlene Davis reported June expenses of $24,937.38 with nothing remarkable. North Berrien Joint Fire Supervisor DiMaggio reported NBJFD did not meet due to the holiday. Parks Department Parks Director Beth Raiser reports sealing and striping of parking lots at Hagar Park is complete with new grills, picnic table pads and trash bins being currently installed. New playground equipment for Children’s Park has arrived pending installation. Approval was given to Wightman & Associates with the low bid of $1,400 for survey work at Hagar Park in regard to determining property boundaries concerning tree removal. Building Inspector Butch Kelly reported of just five new permits totaling $42,400. New Business Discussion of needed work on Duncan Road addressed the literally unusable condition during heavy rains. The township will work with the Berrien County Road Commission to get an estimate for a solution. Having no other business DiMaggio then adjourned the board at 8:18 p.m. with the next regular monthly meeting of the Township Board to be held 7:00 p.m. Monday, August 13, 2018.
2018 VBYF ROYALS… The Van Buren Youth Fair royalty contest was held June 24, at the Lawton Community Center. Selected to reign over this year’s fair, which runs from July 16 to 21, include (from the left): Front row – Duchess Lillianne Ashbrook, of Bloomingdale, a member of the Lucky Clovers 4-H Club; and Duke Caleb McLemore, of Lawton, a member of the Porter Busy Fingers 4-H Club; Middle row – Princess Dora Behrman of Decatur, an Open Class exhibitor; and Prince Kenton Behrman, Decatur, Open Class exhibitor; Back row – Queen Taylor Streit, of Lawrence, a member of the Farms, Friends & Family 4-H Club; and King Andrew Behrman, of Decatur, an Open Class exhibitor.