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Oak Park — The City Council unanimously approved a final site plan Monday night for a 350,000-square-foot distribution facility planned at the former Michigan National Guard Armory property off Greenfield and Eight Mile roads.

Oak Park City Manager Erik Tungate described the project at the city’s southwest border, as a planned $35 million investment that reportedly will employ 400 people within 10 years.

“Under agreement we have not been talking about the specific company that will be there but it is a major corporation that plans a distribution facility and this is the biggest economic development project in Oak Park’s history,” Tungate said Tuesday. “We are very excited.”

Tungate said the facility will operate on the back 60 acres of the 100-acre Armory site, which once contained several buildings and an overgrown airstrip. Despite speculation of development, it has remained an eyesore and empty — except for weeds and wildlife — for 30 years.

The front 40 acres of primarily vacant land along Eight Mile is available for development, Tungate said, and would be “perfect for a big box store.”

“The only thing out there now are lots of deer, foxes and other wildlife,” he said. “We have been in touch with the DNR and told (the animals) will just move elsewhere once construction starts.”

That could be soon, Tungate said.

“The company has indicated they want this up and running in the next 11 months,” he said.

The entrance to the facility will be off Greenfield, east of the Northland Shopping Center.

The property is owned by Scannell Properties of Indianapolis. A company spokesman could not be reached for comment. The company’s website said it has successfully developed neglected properties, including a landfill and a former auto plant into other uses.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319

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