By Charles Sercombe
After several weeks of putting off a vote on whether to grant a tax break for the development of the former Missant property, the city council agreed to the deal.
At Tuesday’s city council meeting, the council voted 4-2 in favor of granting a 10-year tax abatement to 8801 Conant Holdings, LLC.
The company plans to demolish decrepit buildings on the 25-acre site, and lease it to Zbox Global, LCC, an e-commerce company that specializes in selling truck equipment.
A new building will be constructed at the site as well.
The abatement will freeze the current property tax rate, which is about $60,000 a year.
The council had been split 3-3 over this issue for several weeks, but Councilmember Adam Albarmaki changed his position and voted for the abatement.
Albarmaki said that, after talking with various people, he decided that “we want to send a clear message to investors to come to Hamtramck.”
He added: “This (tax abatements) is something common in the state of Michigan.”
Councilmembers Mohammed Alsomiri and Khalil Refai were opposed to the deal, and had counter-offered a tax break for six years instead of 10. That was rejected by fellow councilmembers.
Refai said the company has already invested in the site and that, even if the deal was rejected, the company is “going nowhere.”
Until Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Ameer Ghalib had not offered his opinion on the matter, but on Tuesday he noted that the city had been able to negotiate a deal from 12 years down to 10 years.
He said that Hamtramck is not a wealthy city, and that “we need to bring in business. … It’s not a risky decision.”
Ghalib would have voted on the matter only in the case there had been a tie vote.
The site, located on Conant near the county jail on Hamtramck Dr., has been vacant for years and had turned into an eyesore. The current owner of the site promises to not only raze buildings but also to install landscaping.
Councilmember Nayeem Choudhury noted that the site is currently “scary looking.”
Posted Sept. 30, 2022