New body shop coming to Decatur

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

DECATUR — The village of Decatur is entering into an agreement with a private developer to build a body shop on a long-vacant piece of industrial property.

The developer, Nick Johnson of Sister Lakes, has been working with Decatur on the project since early 2015.

Village Manager James Krizan said they have been working for years to get something into the 20 acres at the south side of Decatur. The idea of the agreement was to take one of the parcels in the industrial park and split it.

Krizan said the project fell through for awhile, but resurfaced a few months ago when Johnson called to “get the ball rolling again.”

“This will be the first development there, which is very exciting,” Krizan said. “He contacted me and was interested in building his own business. We sold the parcel of land to him for about $1 and formed this agreement.”

The development agreement was approved at Monday night’s Village Council meeting. During the meeting, Village President Carl Wickett told Johnson they were exited for him to “bring his business to Decatur.”

The agreement requires that construction begins within 12 months of the execution of the agreement and that the project’s site plans are submitted within the next six months. In the agreement, the property can revert back to the village if one of the terms is not met.

If Johnson wanted to turn around and sell the parcel, Krizan said the sale would have to get approval from the board.

Krizan said the village would consider doing this again if it meant bringing more business to the industrial park.

“I would love for that to happen,” Krizan said. “We still have a lot of land and I’ve never done an agreement like this.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on May 4, 2016)

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