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NORTHVILLE TOWNSHIP, MI-The board of trustees here has offered to buy the 45-acre campus of Our Lady of Providence along Beck Road. City Manager Chip Snider says the board, after a recent closed meeting, agreed to make an offer for the property, which serves people with disabilities.

He believes there are about 45 residents on the property. The residents will have until June 2002 to find another place to live, Snider says, because the owners want to sell the parcel.

The land runs alongside an existing 98-acre park with soccer and other ball fields. The land is also contiguous to a prison, but that isn’t a problem, Snider says.

“We’re used to having our park next to the prison. They can’t get out, and we can’t get in, so it works out fine,” he says.

The township is saving the land from being redeveloped for commercial or industrial use, which reportedly could have sold for $8.7 million if rezoned. The land is now zoned for residential use. Snider says the property could become park land. He adds the township may also investigate whether it could renovate the administration building onthe site into a community center.

The township board authorized a feasibility study on the property in 1999, but has been mum up until now on plans to purchase the property. Snider says he can’t divulge the purchase price, but adds the land is as good as bought.

“From what I understand, Sister Linda Willette, the campus administrator,said it’s pretty much a done deal. She just has to wait for authorization from the archdiocese in Chicago,” Snider tells GlobeSt.com, adding the purchase price will be made public when Willette signs the agreement.

Until then, Snider says the board is confident the purchase will go through. The board authorized a 45-day due diligence investigation for the property.

“We will find out if there are wetlands on the property to block development, whether the 12 buildings are usable and whether there’s any land contamination we should worry about. Normally, we’d wait until a contract was signed, but we think this deal is going to work for us,” Snider says.

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