ROCHESTER HILLS, MI-Mayor Pat Somerville told that a developer has expressed interest in buying the former Letica plant. The city purchased the formerplastics-maker buildings, located on Hamlin Road, for $6.2 million in 1999,with plans on building a new Department of Public Works complex.

Recently, the local school board declined to buy the property for about $6.25 million. Rochester Community Schools had already bought an adjacent 10 acres of the property for $1.2 million, when the entire parcel was to become a joint service garage for the city and the school district.

However, the district said recently that it’s short on spending ability.”The district is the midst of significant financial challenges and funds will not be available to purchase the property from the city,” said John Dietz of Rochester Schools.

The Letica property has been placed back on the market, said Somerville, where she said there has been credible interest.A two-story building on the property sits vacant, though parts of it are used for temporary city offices as the city hall is expanding.

The business had manufactured plastic pails and shipping containers. After problems with zoning and occupancy problems for years at the Hamlin site, the plant closed suddenly Dec. 15, 1999, moving operations to Fulton, KY.The property is zoned for light industrial, though other uses could be considered, Somerville said. She would not reveal the possible buyer.

“It wouldn’t be used for homes, I can tell you that,” Somerville said.She said she’s not sure when the property will be sold, but said the city needs the building until spring 2004.

The school district officials said they are discussing what to do withthat property. It’s unlikely it would be used for a new school.

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