Former Racetrack Transformation
Hazel Park, MI
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 three single-story Class A manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution facilities in the park totaling over 2,100,000 SF .
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.
The three buildings that comprise Tri-County Commerce Center include institutional specifications that were well-received by the market, including high ceiling heights, larger column spacing, ample car and trailer parking, a high count of dock doors, and LED lighting.
With these in-demand features, Ashley fully leased each phase of the project within months of completion to tenants including Amazon, Dakkota Integrated Systems, General Motors, and LG Electronics.