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WARREN, MI-The Warren City Council has approved a tax freeze on a planned $16-million industrial redevelopment in this city. Universal Truckload Services’ plan to consolidate administrative operations at a vacant industrial site at Nine Mile and Hoover roads was hinged on the company’s request that the city freeze the assessment on a 108,000-sf building.

Warren City Council approved a Michigan Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax certificate for a 12-year period–the longest term permitted by law. Auto supplier BorgWarner most recently used the 18-acre site. Before that, Holly Carburetor used the four buildings until 1987 for research and development. Universal Truckload Services selected the property over a competing site in Tampa, FL.

The OPRA tax break will apply only to the main building, which is worth slightly more than $1 million. According to officials, the land it sits on will be re-assessed like other properties and be fully taxed. The company has 140 employees at its headquarters on Stephens Road near Hoover, but has outgrown that facility, corporate representative Tom Welsman says. The firm will tear down two of the four structures at the new Warren site. Renovations are expected to be complete by 2009 in two phases, with employee relocation to be completed after the first phase.

The Michigan Economic Growth Alliance recently approved a Single Business Tax credit of more than $5.6 million over the next 10 years. That incentive, however, was contingent upon the Warren council approving an OPRA tax certificate for the company.

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