IONIA – The city of Ionia is selling a pair of vacant lots as an office furniture manufacturer eyes expansion into the area.
The Ionia City Council voted unanimously at its Tuesday, Aug. 2, meeting on a resolution to sell two parcels on Apple Tree Drive to the Annecy Group, LLC. The two, 3-are lots are part of the city’s Orchard View Industrial Park.
David Powell, CEO / owner of Enwork, recently contacted the city of Ionia – according to City Manager Precia Garland. Enwork is Lowell-area office furniture manufacturer that was established in 2004.
Enwork expanded its Lowell-area facility in 2020 and now intends to expand into Ionia, according to Garland. Powell is a 1984 graduate of Ionia High School.
The company has eyed the former Volcor Finishing Inc. building at 510 Apple Tree Drive in Ionia as its second location. The facility has 22,704 square feet.
Powell offered to buy the two 3-acre lots to the east and west of the former Volcor building, Garland said. Enwork plans to invest roughly $ 1.5 million to $ 2 million into the existing facility to add new manufacturing equipment, along with about $ 150,000 in building improvements.
Enwork hopes to be in operation at the Ionia facility by Nov. 15, according to Garland. The new site would employ 15 to 25 people, with pay rates averaging $ 18-22 per hour and two to three salaried positions.
“It’s an operation that would bring some significant investment to Ionia as well as job creation,” Garland said during Tuesday’s council meeting.
Powell indicated to Garland that while he can’t guarantee expansion in 2023, there is a reasonable chance he may add 24,000 square feet of new building space around that timeline or later – creating 10 additional jobs.
The purchase agreement includes the following:
- The city will sell the two, 3-acre lots at 500 and 520 Apple Tree Drive to the buyer for $ 157,200 ($ 26,200 per acre)
- The city will reimburse the buyer one half the cost, up to $ 5,000, of a land survey of both lots, deducted from purchase offer at time of closing
- The city will reimburse the buyer one half the cost, up to $ 6,000, of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment of both lots, deducted from purchase offer at time of closing
- The city will transfer the license agreement for the encroaching access drive on 500 Apple Tree Drive caused by the neighboring parcel, 480 Apple Tree Drive, and credit the $ 1,000 license changed, deducted at time of closing
- The city shall provide the buyer with standard title insurance at the city’s expense
- The city and buyer shall share equally in any closing fee charged by the title company
- The city shall consider the buyer’s submission of an Industrial Facilities Tax (IFT) exemption application at a later date, in accordance with applicable city ordinances and policy.
“(Powell) was pretty confident he’s going to be able to expand this,” Ionia Mayor Dan Balice said. “Those are pretty good paying jobs.”