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PONTIAC, MI-Groundbreaking is today on a $350-million-plus multi-use development on land formerly used for a mental hospital. Eltel Associates of Southfield is building about 670 single-family and attached townhomes and a high-tech, light industrial tech park on the 213-acre site off of Elizabeth Lake Road, just east of a large retail center, according to a company official.

Doug Bock, the project coordinator, says the 1.5-million-sf industrial project will go on the north 90 acres of the site.

“We’re very excited about this project,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “This will be a wonderful thing for Pontiac, and will be one of the largest new projects in the city in a long time.”

The development will have about 266 detached, single-family homes and 264 townhomes, Bock says. The company will build about 150 units per year. It should take about six years to fully complete the development, Bock adds.

Pontiac purchased the property from the state department of management and budget for $10.2 million. Eltel bought the property from the city for the same price, Bock says. Eltel is led by principals Douglas Bock and Walter Cohen.

The city only had until Jan. 31 to buy the property, after missing adeadline last year. The city council turned down three bids for the projectin July 2000.

Oakland County was given the opportunity to buy the land, but instead gave Pontiac another chance and extended the purchase deadline for the city. After March 1, the state was prepared to sell the land on the open market.

The site is better known as the Clinton Valley Center mental health facility. The property had sat vacant after the state abandoned the large brick facilities many years ago, and they were torn down amid resident protest in mid-2000.

Pontiac officials tell GlobeSt.com the land has not been taxed for more than 100 years.

Pontiac purchased the parcel using part of a sale of $40 million in bonds for the new developments. About $10 million will also go to fund infrastructure for a new 600,000-sf facility at General Motor Corp.’s Centerpointe campus.

The county already bought 88 acres of vacant land north of the CVC site for approximately $880,000, to expand on its current 396-acre site.

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