MARSHALL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Public records show that megasite promoters have so far spent more than $41 million taxpayer dollars to buy land for the new Ford battery plant in the Marshall area.
According to land transfer records obtained by Target 8, the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance has bought at least 1,600 acres in the area of I-94 and I-69 from a dozen landowners. The total megasite is around 1,900 acres.
The biggest megasite landowner was Ceres Farms, an Indiana corporation that invests in farmland in several states. It walked away with more than $18 million for 750 acres that bought for $5.5 million for in 2012, township assessor records show.
The money to buy the land comes from the state in the form of a loan to MAEDA, but it appears that MAEDA won’t have to repay the loan. The Michigan Strategic Fund Board memo shows the state plans to cover the MAEDA loan debt with an outright grant.
Ford plans to spend $3.5 billion to build the new BlueOval Battery Park Michigan electric vehicle battery plant on the megasite, saying it will create 2,500 jobs.
On Wednesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into a law a funding package that includes $300 million for the plant and $330 million for improvements, including highway upgrades, in the area.
That money, plus other grants and loans and tax breaks, contributes to the state’s $1.7 billion incentive package that helped lure Ford to pick the Marshall site.
Marshall plans to annex the site from Marshall Township, after which it will move to rezoning and permitting.