Being well versed in brownfield development with more than 900 acres of brownfield projects completed, none of these issues were insurmountable for Ashley. Ashley installed ventilation systems and a membrane to deal with the methane and contaminated soil, and a specially designed foundation system to eliminate the load bearing problem.
Brownfield Redevelopment: Tri-County Commerce Center
In November 2015, Ashley Capital partnered with the owners of the Hazel Park Raceway to transform a prime corner of the 120-acre racetrack, located near the I-75 and I-696 interchange, into a state-of-the-art industrial park to be known as Tri-County Commerce Center. The owners of the racetrack contributed the 36-acre northwestern corner to the joint venture and Ashley coordinated the development of the approximately 575,000 SF single-story Class A manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution facility.
While conducting due diligence, Ashley discovered that the City of Highland Park had used the site as an industrial landfill prior to the 1940s. More than 75 years later, elevated levels of methane, contaminated soil, and insufficient load bearing capacity plagued the site. Being well versed in brownfield development with more than 900 acres of brownfield projects completed, none of these issues were insurmountable for Ashley. Ashley installed ventilation systems and a membrane to deal with the methane and contaminated soil, and a specially designed foundation system to eliminate the load bearing problem.
Ashley sought incentives from a variety of government agencies. The City of Hazel Park and Oakland County recognized early on that the redevelopment would help spur business activity on a previously underutilized brownfield site. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) provided a loan, and the City of Hazel Park, MDEQ and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) approved tax increment financing to provide a unique assistance package involving grant, loan, and TIF.
Construction on the first building was completed in June 2017 and construction on the second building was completed in November 2019. Both buildings feature an abundant number of overhead doors and car/trailer spaces, 32’ clear heights, ESFR sprinkler systems and energy-efficient LED fixtures.
With these in-demand features, Ashley leased 100% of the buildings to Akasol AG; Amazon; Bridgewater Interiors; Dakkota Integrated Systems; EnovaPremier of Warren, Michigan; Hi-Lex Controls; and LG Electronics as tenants.
With construction complete and successful lease-up of the buildings, Ashley was able to refinance its existing short-term loans in 2018 (Building 1) and 2020 (Building 2) with new long-term fixed rate loans from Aegon USA Realty Advisors.