Bulldozers and bonfires moving at a rapid pace are rapidly leveling a nearly 10-acre grove of trees and overgrowth alongside Lowe’s of Benton Harbor, making the way for a new development under the direction of Berrien Springs entrepreneur Nolan Passick who says the entire 10-acres will be leveled by the end of the week.
Passick is playing things close to the vest on the triangular property at the intersection of Fairplain Drive and Mall Drive in the busy commercial district of Benton Charter Township. He cites confidential contracts still in negotiations for construction on part of the property which he anticipates will launch around late fall or early spring at the site, but quickly adds, “There are endless possibilities on this 10-acre site next to Lowe’s Walmart and Meijer being cleared now, and it can be split into smaller parcels.” Interested parties can reach Passick at 269-369-2552.
The deforestation underway will eliminate all trees clear back to the Harbor Pointe II senior living complex which neighbors the property with access from Plaza Drive behind the Fairplain Plaza. Anybody who has driven by this week can see the huge change in that intersection as it continues to evolve at the hands of the bulldozers and earthmovers.
Passick’s limited liability company owns the property and after contracts are signed, the proposed retail/service project planned there will switch to those entities as construction begins.
The Berrien Springs businessman points out that the 10 acre site is also in one of the Benton Harbor Opportunity Zones recognized by Cornerstone Alliance, Berrien County’s lead economic development agency. Cornerstone Alliance President Rob Cleveland explains, “Opportunity Zones were designed to create development, investment, and overall interest in under-served areas. Cornerstone Alliance submitted that census tract for Opportunity Zone consideration due to the significant development potential in and around Plaza Drive.” He adds, “Benton Charter Township officials welcome development and are supportive of using tools provided by the state and federal government in order to recruit investment to the area.”
Passick is no stranger to the business community of Benton Township. Four years ago, he converted the former Blossom Lanes on M-139 into one of the largest garages in the region, in the building behind the site of his Amish Built Barn farm just off the intersection with Nickerson Avenue. That major storage facility is known simply as Blossom Storage LLC.
Passick, who purchased the former AMF Blossom Lanes property after it had sat vacant for a couple of years, converted the popular night spot into a 36,000 square foot warehouse space ready to be leased to anyone interested in covered, indoor storage for vehicles or other goods. That was in the fall of 2016.
It was Passick’s second venture at 2305 M-139, following his first venture of the Amish Built Barns enterprise that covers almost the entire parking lot there with more than 100 structures on site at all times from 8×8-foot outbuildings to 14×40-foot structures, the largest allowable pre-built barn for hauling in transit on the open highway. That venture can provide everything from the basic to custom built barns and can even custom build on your own property.
Stay tuned for more on plans for the new project getting underway.