Grand Blanc Township was ahead of its time when it prepared the Technology Village Area Study in 2008. Eight years ago, the township recognized that encouraging economic development in the township meant creating a place for technology-driven businesses and the people who work there. The area defined as Technology Village consists of approximately 4,103 acres, and is located in the south-central portion of the township. It includes the Genesys Health Park, industrial property, and undeveloped sites with unique natural features. The 2008 study provided an outline for a vibrant center that would incorporate knowledge-based employment with housing, recreation, culture, diversity and entertainment.
Timing can be everything. Following the completion of the first part of the study, the 2008 Recession hit and most development in the region and state ceased or slowed to a minimum for several years. However, recent local development and the planned extension of Dort Highway south to Baldwin Road are impacting growth. The township recognizes now is the time to be proactive by refining the Technology Village concept and ensuring zoning standards reflect that vision.
To understand and demonstrate the development potential for this area to the larger development community, a market study is underway. Following the market study, a conceptual development plan will be created for a 200-acre area bounded by I-75, Baldwin Road, and Saginaw Street. With an clearer understanding of what the market is and how the area could develop, the Zoning Ordinance will then be amended to provide building and site standards that will help achieve the conceptual development plan. The project will be led by the community planning firm, Clearzoning, Inc., who serves as the township’s planning consultant and assisted the township with the development of the 2008 Technology Village Area Study.
Over the next few months, the Planning Commission and Township Board will review and discuss the market study, conceptual plan, and subsequent zoning amendments. The resulting package of market and development information will be used in marketing efforts to attract experienced developers to the township.