Northville and Plymouth townships are seeking developers for the Michigan International Technology Center, an economic initiative that could potentially support 5 million square feet of facilities, garner $620 million of investment, and generate more than 9,000 jobs, say project officials.
“This is important to the state of Michigan, to the county of Wayne, and to the partner townships of Plymouth and Northville,” says Richard Reaume, supervisor of Plymouth Township. “We want to grow jobs, and this is the right area for advanced technology. This is where the human resources are located.”
According to Reaume, the technology center, to be located at the former Detroit House of Corrections, will build upon the area’s growing high-tech corridor. He notes there are about 10,000 advanced technology jobs already based along the 1.5-mile stretch of Five Mile Road, between Sheldon and Beck.
“We’ve got one individual who has expressed an initial interest in (three buildings covering) 500,000 square feet for advanced technology offices,” Reaume says. “That’s $60 million of new payroll for the state. Forget the taxes it generates — just think of how many families that could help.
Reaume says there’s about 500 buildable acres on the site, along with 300 acres of protected wetlands and creeks. “Because of our area, the biggest (draw) will still be automotive, but we’re going to reach out and try to attract life sciences as well,” he says.
In addition to the Detroit House of Corrections, which used the land as a work farm in the early 20th century, the site was home to the Robert Scott Correctional Facility, a women’s prison that has since been closed and demolished.