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AUBURN HILLS, MI-The Troy development firm Burton Katzman will build a 149,000-sf industrial facility here. The Palace Technology Center will be a light industrial building, says Christopher Burton, the company manager for the project.

It will cost $8 million to build on Lapeer Road West, across the M-24/I-75 cloverleaf ramp from the Palace of Auburn Hills, the home of the NBA Detroit Pistons.

Burton says the company wants to lease the speculative building to one company, but would settle for more. The lease price depends on how many tenants, he adds.

“Rates would be $6.50 to $6.85 per sf for one user,” he says.

The company paid a $250,000 fine for removing trees on the 20-acre site. Burton says trees will be cleared on 13 acres for the building. The rest of the property is a protected wetland.

The fine goes to a tree-replacement fund for the city to allow for the planting of trees in other public properties.

“That’s the price of doing business,” Burton says about the loss of trees. “We’re only able to fit the building onto the site we can use, we can’t replant them.”

He says the surrounding wildlife of the wetland will be worked around the building design, and will provide a healthy habitat for employees.

“We were able to get what we wanted in a very limited space, it’s a very pretty site,” he says.

The building will be completed by the spring or summer of 2002, Burton says. Site plan approval was given by the city council early last month. No tenants have been signed yet, he adds.

“There’s been some interest, we’ve had some people in for talks. We’re probably not going to sign anything within the next few weeks, however,” Burton says.

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