Economic Development, Government, and Real Estate

Developer eyes land for office, industrial

July 17, 2015
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An industrial and office development on Bristol Avenue NW is under consideration in Walker.

The Walker Planning Commission heard a request earlier this month to convert approximately 40 acres of land from residential to industrial/office use.

The change would add the land to the city master plan’s Subplan No. 1, an approximately 700-acre parcel of land that “generally speaking, goes from Four Mile Road in the north to Three Mile Road in the south, and Bristol Avenue on the east to Walker Avenue on the west,” said Frank Wash, assistant city manager and community development director.

The 40 acres currently are not part of Subplan No. 1 and are in an area of the master plan that hasn’t changed since 1998, Wash said.

“Technically, the city master plan … the last official adoption was in 1998. Since then, we’ve been breaking it down into neighborhoods and into subplans for individual neighborhoods, which is the way the city of Grand Rapids has been doing it, and I believe is a much superior way to do cities. … It’s a very living document.”

The land in question belongs to Walker resident Robert Wisniewski.

Wisniewski owns an active sand mine on the land, located at 2605 Bristol Ave. NW. The mining activity is only on about one quarter of the property, Wash said. Wisniewski is working on a restoration plan that would eventually change the property, creating a layout for future offices or an industrial park.

“The appraiser looks at the residential master plan designation, yet there is industrial on three sides of it. It isn’t conducive to residential development, and the value of the land isn’t what it should be. That is creating a hardship for them and therefore (Wisniewski) is requesting it be changed to LIO — Light Industrial/Office,” according to the minutes of the meeting.

“Wisniewski said (his recently deceased mother) owned 50 acres in that area. It is two parcels; one 10 acres and one 40 acres. Wash identified the active sand mine property on the aerial view as well as the access point to Three Mile Road for the sand mine. Mr. Wisniewski agreed that the 10-acre parcel should likely remain residential. It abuts residential on two sides.”

Wisniewski will present his plan Aug. 19 in a work session of the Planning Commission for the Subplan No. 1 Master Plan update, Wash said. Everyone around the sand mine has been notified, and there will be feedback from local residents at the meeting, he said.

“It’s completely up to the Planning Commission and the public and the citizens who live in Walker,” Wash said. “We’ll see how it turns out on the 19th.”

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