Detroit Regional Partnership Rolls Out Verified Industrial Properties Portal

The Detroit Regional Partnership, or DRP, has fully launched its Verified Industrial Properties program to increase industrial site readiness throughout southeast Michigan.
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liberty business park
The Liberty Business Park located at 4250 Pier North Dr. in Flint is part of VIP by DRP database. // Courtesy of VIP by DRP

The Detroit Regional Partnership, or DRP, has fully launched its Verified Industrial Properties program to increase industrial site readiness throughout southeast Michigan.

As part of the rollout, the DRP is offering incentives for partners to submit properties to an online portal as it works to attract national and international expansion projects to the 11-county region.

“We’re seeing one of the hottest industrial markets in recent history, but companies can only go where there are sites that can be vetted and developed efficiently,” says Maureen Donohue Krauss, president and CEO of the DRP. “We’re offering a new dynamic platform that will serve as the one place where site selectors and corporate decision makers can go and quickly assess if this region has properties that meet their needs.”

Verified Industrial Properties, or VIP, features an online portal at verifiedindustrialproperties.com that highlights sites that have been vetted through the lens of environmental, zoning, and other development-readiness factors. As part of the program, third-party engineers verify the condition of vacant industrial parcels of 10 acres or more by evaluating criteria such as access to utilities, wetlands/site-specific attributes, easements, and other key data.

The DRP has been piloting the program since late 2021 and is now fully launching the online portal with nine major sites fully vetted and more than 20 properties in the process of being evaluated. The program is designed for urban, suburban, and rural sites.

Examples of in-progress sites include the former Summit Place Mall site in Waterford Township, Walbridge-owned land in Lyon Township, and land tracts that are part of the Detroit Region Aerotropolis near Detroit Metro Airport.

“VIP by DRP is an essential tool that speeds up the initial time it takes a company to evaluate sites against their criteria, so we can keep our region on the short list for their project,” Krauss says. “Delays force investors to look elsewhere. The more information we can provide companies as they start their search, the greater the odds they select the Detroit Region for a major investment.”

The program is uniquely suited to help drive development of brownfield and greenfield sites that will be buoyed statewide by the Michigan Legislature’s recent approval of $350 million for site readiness as part of a larger allocation to the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund.

The VIP by DRP portal is designed to help high-potential sites in the 11-county Southeast Michigan region stay on the short list for large-scale industrial projects, ranging from advanced manufacturing plants to high-tech logistics/distribution centers to R&D/flex developments.

Eligible counties include: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Livingston, Genesee, Lapeer, Lenawee, Monroe, Shiawassee, and St. Clair.

“If you’re trying to market a major industrial land site in southeast Michigan, you’re not going to find better value than this,” says Shannon Selby, DRP’s director of real estate who oversees VIP. “VIP by DRP is built around national best practices in business attraction and is amplified by our year-round business development outreach. It provides our partners exposure to a global audience while also indirectly connecting them to potential investors and job-creating projects in the national and international markets we visit in person throughout the year.”

Site representatives, which may include industrial developers, owners/investors, commercial real estate brokers, and/or government entities, are eligible for early adopter perks, and certain sites may be eligible for additional grant funding or grant matches. For example, a portal listing with about $13,000 in benefits (site study, marketing value, etc.) is available at a $3,000 investment by the site representative. Certain landmark sites or government-owned sites may be eligible for additional grant support.

The information provided through DRP can also help partner communities decide where to make current infrastructure investments to support longer-term development of these key properties, maximizing benefit to the community.

The Detroit Regional Partnership is a public-private economic development partnership focused on marketing and business attraction for the 11-county Detroit Region. To learn more, visit: DetroitRegionalPartnership.com.

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