ROCHESTER HILLS, MI-A 40-acre parcel is at the center of a dispute over funding for a road split. If resolved, it would create an excellent site for an office complex here.

The city wants to move Adams Road and reconnect it to the east-west highway M-59. The highway land has shot up in value since its reconstruction within the last few years, and because of the proliferation of new automotive supply companies near the DaimlerChrysler North American headquarters.

The price for the parcel would be high if a new overpass connector was built and Adams was moved to allow access, says Ed Hanzek, city planning director.

“There would be several hundred feet of M-59 fronting property available. It would be a prime piece of land, very attractive for an office complex,” Hanzek says.

Currently, the land is boxed in and unattainable from roads. The city wants to move the road to ease current traffic congestion.

Adams Road needs to move about a half-mile east, Hanzek says. However, first the right-of-way needs to be purchased for the road. A real estate development company and a utility own most of the land, and Hanzek says preliminary reports are that it will cost about $12 million to acquire the rights.

He says the city is paying $400,000 for a consultant to determine how much the property is worth. Grand Sakwa Properties Inc. of Farmington Hills owns about 25 acres, and Syndeco Development, an arm of DTE Energy of Detroit, owns about 8 acres.

“The city is trying to also decide who would be responsible for paying for the property,” Hanzek says. “The wheels of the government are very slow.”

The state has said they would pay $6 million of the cost, he says. The city is trying to figure out ways of financing the purchase, Hanzek says.

If the land could be used, the tax revenue alone would be worth it to the city, Hanzek says.

“M-59 has become a major east-west corridor for jobs and commerce,” he adds. “To the east is Macomb County, and to the west is Oakland County and Auburn Hills. It would be an ideal spot for another corporate headquarters.”

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