By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium
BENTON TOWNSHIP — Property along M-139 that Benton Township is trying to sell to a Kalamazoo car dealership is still a work in progress.
DeNooyer Automotive Group LLC was recently granted a 45-day extension on the due diligence period. The dealership intends on conducting environmental assessments on the land because a portion of the nearly 10 acres had a gas station on it.
Superintendent Kelli Nelson said after the due diligence period expires Oct. 25, DeNooyer Automotive has another 15 days to close on the property.
The original deadline for the period was in early September.
“They said they were going to complete additional environmental assessments, which is standard procedure for a site that was home to a gas station,” Nelson said. “Only the half-acre portion had the gas station on it.”
Nelson said DeNooyer Automotive had also inquired about what assistance might be available through Brownfield Redevelopment to recapture some of the environmental assessment costs.
“Typically when a Brownfield is set up, we would know what the planned improvement is for the site,” Nelson said. “At this point we don’t know as they are in the beginning stages with Berrien County.”
Todd DeNooyer, general manager of DeNooyer Chevrolet in Kalamazoo, has previously said there are no immediate plans for the two parcels of land.
Trustees first approved the sale agreement with DeNooyer Automotive for the property during a July board meeting.
The agreed upon price is still for $390,000. The original asking price was $400,000.
Nelson said the total amount of money the township has put into the property was $62,505. With those costs, coupled with an 8 percent commission fee to the broker, the township stands to make more than $296,000 from the sale.
The property was listed for a year and half before the township got an offer close to the asking price.
The township bought the land in 2013 and eventually demolished the Lake Breeze Hotel that was on the property in June 2014. Prior to that was a Holiday Inn, which township officials said was problematic with various break-ins.