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Meijer con­firmed this week it is looking to open its first location in Hillsdale County.

The outisde of Coldwater’s Meijer, which is cur­rently looking to expand to Hillsdale. Wiki­media Commons

The pri­vately owned cor­po­ration based in Grand Rapids is working to pur­chase a plot of land — nearly 50 acres and located in Fayette Township — on West Car­leton Road, located between Frank Beck Chevrolet and Beck Road, according to Fayette Township Super­visor John Kalusniak.

Kalusniak said dis­cussion between Meijer and the property owner has taken place over the past six months and plans are now beginning to take shape. Fayette Township approved a zoning change in township board meeting on Oct. 2, changing the property’s status from agri­cul­tural to indus­trial, con­tingent on the property’s pur­chase. Kalusniak said this was the first step in final­izing nego­ti­a­tions with Meijer.

“The next step is to see if Meijer will pur­chase the property,” he said in a phone interview. “Every­thing is con­tingent on that next step.”

A media rep­re­sen­tative from Meijer con­firmed the potential expansion and said although there are no official plans, the company has signed a pre­lim­inary pur­chase agreement with the property owner.

Kalusniak said Fayette Township and the City of Hillsdale will have to reach a 425 agreement — a con­tract that will allow both cities to benefit from tax rev­enues resulting from the expanded devel­opment — because Fayette Township would be unable to provide water and sewer for the new business.

Kalusniak said res­i­dents have voiced con­cerns about the impending expansion, citing con­cerns over traffic flow, lighting, and property taxes. Fayette Township will have to review its traffic light place­ments in the nearby area, if the pur­chase is finalized, he said.

Kalusniak said he does not think small business will suffer if Meijer moves to Hillsdale County. The new company will bring com­pe­tition, he said, but more so to Walmart than to local shops. “Meijer will also bring jobs to Hillsdale County,” Kalusniak said. “There will be con­struction jobs and store ones. We need that.”

Despite con­cerns, Kalusniak said overall, Meijer would be a good addition to the com­munity.

“It would be a big improvement to the area and the county,” he said. “We’ve been trying to develop that area between Hillsdale and Jonesville for a while, so the more busi­nesses we can get in there, the better.”

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Kaylee McGhee
Kaylee McGhee is a junior at Hillsdale College, majoring in Politics with a minor in Journalism. This is her third year writing for the Collegian and served as last semester's City News Editor. Kaylee is currently studying in Washington D.C., where she works for the Weekly Standard and contributes to the Collegian as our D.C. correspondent. Kaylee has also worked as an editorial intern for the Detroit News. Follow her on Twitter: @kmcghee04 email: kmcghee@hillsdale.edu