New Hartford company startup focuses on property and community development; first Michigan project is in Watervliet
Entrepreneurs Hector Matos and Hiram Matos have taken the step of launching a development company focused on rehabbing property to enhance community. Additionally, the new company, aptly called matosUnidos, LLC, will focus on projects in small towns.
“I moved here from Chicago and rehabbed my house in Hartford. I took something that should have been condemned and made it a home,” says co-founder Hector Matos. “I’m passionate about this area and feel that we can make a difference in the community.” Hector moved to Hartford in 2017 with his wife Cristal. Cristal Matos will be focused on community and environment while Violeta Matos, Hiram’s wife, will focus on design and procurement. “I’m very excited about this company as I’ve seen how determined my husband is to contribute to the community,” says Cristal Matos.
Although matosUnidos is a new company, its founding partners have established records in startups, property and business development, technology, and project management. The logo has a lowercase “m” for matos with an uppercase “U” for Unidos. “Unidos” stands for united in Spanish. The circle with the arrow represents constant movement and development. The company was registered as an LLC with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulations on August 13, 2018.
The first project in Michigan is in Watervliet. “We can’t do this on our own; but we can accomplish great things Unidos,” says Violeta Matos. Restaurant and apartment planned for Main St., Watervliet The project in Watervliet concerns an abandoned building at 356 N. Main St. The blighted building was condemned by the city last year. Proposed plans for the building announced at a previous city commission meeting include an upstairs apartment and a restaurant downstairs. “Small towns must be creative yet through when considering economic development strategies. MatosUnidos is unique in that Hector and Hiram aren’t bringing a one size fits all approach to their projects, but an approach that takes into consideration what a community needs and can support,” says Watervliet City Manager Tyler Dotson. “Too many times I’ve seen folks bring their idea to a community without researching the proper demographics that may dictate whether or not the concept would even be successful. The Conveyance agreement the City entered into with Hector will help establish a business of need in a building that frankly, wasn’t getting many looks by entrepreneurs due to its condition. It’s a win-win for everyone and we look forward to working with Hector and matosUnidos to make this project a success for our community.”
Hagar Twp. welcomes Dicastal Logistics Group; new company at former APL site hiring; Board sets tax break opportunities in motion
By Jon Bisnett The word is that the idled APL complex located at 4412 Coloma Road will reemerge as the newest addition to Dicastal North America Logistics Group. Dicastal North America (DNA) was incorporated on August 29, 2014 in Greenville, Michigan; manufacturing aluminum alloy wheels for the auto industry utilizing the latest digital and core technology for melting, casting, heat-treating, machining, painting, and testing of the products. DNA is a subsidiary of CITIC Group, now called CITIC Dicastal, who in 1988, built the first aluminum wheel enterprise in China. Now based in Qin Huangdao City, China; the company is the world’s largest manufacturer of aluminum alloy wheels for the auto industry. CITIC Dicastal is a subsidiary of CITIC Group. They provide products to almost every OEM and supplier in China, Europe, North America, Japan, South Korea and Australia. Dicastal Logistics Group (DLG) began operations on April 3, 2017 in Canton, Michigan; where they warehouse, distribute, provide logistics services and light assembly operations for the auto industry. The Coloma/Hagar site will actually house a second DLG warehousing and distribution operation that is projected to employ as many as 100 workers, shipping product to the western half of the U.S., while the Canton site covers points east. Visiting the Hagar Board at their monthly meeting on Monday, Aug. 13 was the new DLG Coloma Operations Manager Don Ingersoll. No stranger to the facility, Ingersol spent seven years working in the same capacity for former owners, APL. “I’m glad to be back,” says Ingersoll, “Right now it’s just me and a lift truck driver, but we’re looking to add four more lift trucks immediately with further hiring to continue as the facility rehab proceeds.” In a Public Hearing that followed at 7:15 p.m., the Hagar Board gave unanimous approval to the establishment of an Industrial Development District (IDD) at the site, providing tax incentives to help offset building significant redevelopment costs. Cornerstone Alliance representatives Shane Kissy and Katherine Tilley worked with DLG to present the case for the IDD. Guests Commissioner Dave Vollrath visited sharing updates on the new Paw Paw River County Park site in Watervliet. The combination county park and kayak launch is back on schedule for a September 1 opening, despite some earlier weather related construction delays. “It’s coming together nicely,” says Vollrath, “I encourage folks to stop by and look it over, what is already complete.” Supervisor’s Report Supervisor Izzy DiMaggio reports the Hagar Kayak Launch plans have recently been submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality for formal approval prior to seeking bids, which most likely will push the start of construction into 2019. Clerk’s Report Clerk Sarah Rodriguez reported Pride Care Ambulance activity for the prior months with June at 17 Priority One calls averaging 8:58, 10 Priority Two at 12:32 and just a single Priority Three call at 5:07, bringing the overall average response time for 29 calls in June to 10:11. For July, Pride Care Ambulance reports of 11 PI and 16 P2 calls; a slight decrease in activity with 27 calls averaging 11:05. Rodriguez also thanked those who worked the recent election. The August Primary had a turnout of 714 voters or 26.5%. Treasurer’s Report Treasurer Marlene Davis reported July expenses of $59,594.81 with nothing remarkable.
North Berrien Joint Fire Board Supervisor DiMaggio reported NBJFB did not meet due to the 4th of July holiday. Runs for month numbered just 16 with 12 in Hagar and four in Coloma Township. DiMaggio also reported a prior issue regarding an unexplained delay with Hagar’s contractual payment for services to the NBJFB had since been resolved. Building Inspector Inspector Butch Kelly and Ordinance Office George Schemenauer have been busy with a condemnation order filed on KB Properties LLC and an arrest of the owner of Echer Street Apartments by Ordinance Officer Schemenauer as the township continues the anti-blight campaign. The former A-1 Auto Salvage site has been put on notice following multiple neighborhood complaints.. The next regular monthly meeting of the Township Board to be held 7:00 p.m. Monday, September 10, 2018.
The 2018 Berrien County Youth Fair may be history but these Tri-City Area youth are still beaming about the ribbons and awards they earned there
Layla Klimkiewicz, 7, of Watervliet earned a 6th place ribbon for her market turkey. She attends 2nd Grade at Watervliet Public Schools and is the daughter of Jeff and Nicole Klimkiewicz. In addition to turkeys, she shows horses, pigs, and chickens.
HANNAH HART, 14, won Champion wether and overall Reserve Champion market lamb. The daughter of Grant and Wendy Hart, she attends Watervliet Public Schools.
TYLER KUEHL of Watervliet earned a Reserve Champion for his recycled project at the Berrien County Youth Fair earlier this month. The 6th-grader attending Watervliet Public Schools also received a 4th place in Championship Equine Jr. Showmanship. He is the son of Elden and Stacy Kuehl.
KAYLA HOY, 15, is shown with her llama Daisy. She received 2nd place in the llama costume category with Daisy as a giraffe and Kayla as the zookeeper. She received many ribbons with her exhibits including in market chickens, ducks, rabbits, rabbit costume, showmanship, and performance. She has been showing in the fair since she was five years old. Her parents are Robbie and Brandiwyne Harting.