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Industrial park at former GM plant celebrates first decade

March 7, 2014

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP — When a group of investors began converting a vacant car-parts plant in Comstock Township into a business park nearly 10 years ago, they didn’t really know how it would end up looking, but they knew it would create jobs and inject investment into the community.

Today, Midlink Business Park, on Sprinkle Road just south of I-94, houses 13 businesses that employ 350 to 400 people. About 75 percent of the park’s capacity is filled. Jerry Campbell | Special to the Gazette The two main buildings of the Midlink Business Park are shown in this aerial photo. Managers say the 1.6 million square feet of indoor space still has about 425,000 square feet available and about 230 acres of land that is ready for development.

“We didn’t know exactly what it would look like in the future,“ said Midlink President David Smith of the former General Motors Corp. metal-stamping plant. The partnership 5200 East Cork Street Investors LLC, bought the plant on Dec. 23, 1999, for $23 million. “But what we did know was that we were going to be very successful in building value, creating jobs and driving investment into the community.”

Smith has worked for the investment group and Hackman Capital Partners LLC, the Los Angeles-based organization that manages the business park, since 1999.

After buying the building, the new owners spent several years cleaning up the site, removing massive metal-stamping machinery and remodeling the facility for multitenant use. The focus was on putting the facility to use as a warehousing and logistics center — capitalizing on a location that has Chicago to the west, Detroit to the east, Grand Rapids to the north and South Bend, Ind., to the south. The facility takes its name from being a midpoint in that region.

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