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VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, MI-The Visteon Corp. will locate its new headquarters and technical center here. The company has been holding its breath about the announcement, keeping it close to the vest.

Gordon Cole, director of global public affairs for the company, says the firm didn’t want to make it’s intentions completely known until the move was decided.

Now, the former parts branch of Ford Motor Co., says it will locate its headquarters about a mile away, as expected. About six months ago, the township approved a 12-year, $31-million tax abatement for Visteon.

The abatements were for the development of a 265-acre site near I-94 and I-275, with about $325 million of planned new development, including new infrastructure for roads, water, and other necessities.

The land is a former sand and gravel quarry from the 1950s.

The township has been told the company wants to use future buildings on the site for offices, technology and research and development space. The Smith Group of Detroit is working on the site plans.

“Visteon’s decision to locate its new headquarters and technical facility in Michigan is further proof that Michigan is the global automotive brain center,” says Gov. John Engler.

Construction is expected to get under way this summer with occupancy beginning in 2004, subject to government approvals.

“We are excited to be moving forward with Visteon Village, our new corporate headquarters,” says Michael Johnston, president and chief operating officer.

According to a University of Michigan economic analysis, the project will result in an increase of $50.5 million in total net state revenues.

“We are delighted that Visteon has selected Van Buren Township for the corporation’s new headquarters,” says Wayne County Executive Edward H. McNamara. “As a global company, Visteon will benefit from the new facility’s close proximity to Metro Airport and its access to worldwide markets.”

The 265-acre rural site is close to Visteon’s automotive customer base. The new corporate headquarters will allow the company to centralize its operations to better serve its customers. Once completed, the new facility will total 800,000 to 1 million sf and house up to 4,000 people.

A $100-million mixed-use development nearby should now get a boost thanks to the news. Walden Woods at Tyler and Morton Taylor roads has been expecting the development. The project will have 300 single family homes, another 200 multifamily units (probably condominiums), and 100,000 sf of retail space.

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