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Waterford drops industrial park plans for Buena Park Road
Village of Waterford

Waterford drops industrial park plans for Buena Park Road

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WATERFORD — The village is walking back plans for a 110-acre industrial park along the west side of Buena Park Road (Highway W) between Barnes and Rohda drives in the wake of inflated infrastructure costs and an engineering survey discovering wetlands “in all the wrong places,” according to Village Administrator Zeke Jackson.

The planned industrial park site, dubbed “Apollo,” was part of a larger marketing push to spur development in tax incremental financing districts. The village planned to annex the land, currently in the Town of Waterford, from five property owners.

“It doesn’t make sense to do the project right now,” Jackson said.

A fourth TID was intended to be formed for the Apollo site, but moving forward with the industrial park would have resulted in a potential $800,000 loss in TID revenue due to how the park would need to be set up to avoid wetlands, Jackson said. Further, infrastructure costs have gone up about 40% in the past year, Jackson said. A further $400,000 for wetland offset would have been required.

“We’re about ($2.2) million off from where we need to reasonably be to get paid back,” he said.

Village officials are now leaning toward large-lot residential development at the Apollo site, Jackson said. A staff memo Jackson sent to trustees gave a potential option to mine and fill a man-made lake, then construct a gated subdivision with large-lot single-family homes valued at more than $650,000.

“This likely produces the highest return for the landowners, and would minimize the village’s risk and long-term liabilities,” Jackson wrote in the memo.

The village now has scaled back plans to create a smaller industrial park on about 15 acres of the 54-acre Mercury site at the northeast corner of the intersection of highways 36 and 20/83. At the revised site, there would be about 500 feet of commercial frontage along Highway 36 and mixed residential and industrial use beyond that.

The decision to drop the Apollo site plans comes amid a flurry of development proposed or approved for other sites in the village.

Correction: The Apollo site land is not in the Village of Waterford. The village planned to annex the properties from the town, in agreement with the property owners.

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