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HURON TOWNSHIP, MI-Three unnamed design firms are working on plans for the Pinnacle Aeropark, a 1,200-acre mixed-use park adjacent to Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Mulugetta Birru, Wayne County executive director of economic development, says plans are being developed for the first phase, which consists of 150 acres. Birru says the site is being developed for potential tenants, although no tenants have been confirmed. “Until you have a site, people can’t trust your word that the land will be ready,” Birru says.

The proposed Pinnacle Aeropark, which is to span Huron Township and the City of Romulus, has been postponed since 1999 because of limited financing and legal delays. In 2003, Wayne County had tried to take possession of about 500 acres of the property by buying the land from 12 owners, using $21 million in Federal Aviation Administration funds. The county used eminent domain to sue for the land after the owners refused to sell.

The County Circuit Court denied a motion by the owners for summary disposition, allowing the county to proceed with the condemnation and taking of the land. The owners took it higher, and the Appeals Court affirmed the circuit court’s decision in late April 2003.

The vision is to transform the county-owned land into a high-quality, mixed-business/technology park, with accompanying hotels, retail shopping centers, and other amenities, including a golf course. The county will use a federal community development block grant to help pay for the $400,000 needed in upfront design costs, Birru says. Development of the entire park is expected to cost about $7.5 million.

Birru says the county has been in talks with two major tenants that may be interested in located in phase one of the park. Additionally, the city has selected an engineering firm, a master-planning firm and environmental consultant based in Wayne County to work together on the design plans. Birru says the names of the companies would be announced after the county board of commissioners approved their contracts on Aug. 29.

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