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SHELBY TOWNSHIP, MI-The fat lady has sung at several baseball diamonds in Shelby Township in Macomb County. The township board has approved a request to rezone the 23 acres which held the ball fields to retail, from heavy manufacturing.

The land is part of the old Packard Proving Grounds property, now owned by Ford Motor Co. The 330-acre parcel in the township is being redeveloped into residential use with a commercial section where the old Ford Field baseball diamonds were. Several historic buildings used by Packard from the earliest days of the auto industry are being preserved by a not-for-profit group.

The redevelopment of Ford Field is part of Central Park Development, a joint effort by Ford and developer Grand Sakwa that already had overall approval by the township. Work has begun on the terrain in the residential portion of the project.

Ford donated property farther north to help offset the loss of Ford Field, and construction on new, lighted baseball diamonds at that site is already under way.

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