DETROIT — Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano is unveiling this week a new, 1,000-acre site in Plymouth and Northville Townships to battery suppliers and energy-related firms during his seventh trade mission to Asia.
The Wayne County Advanced Energy Technology Park is proposed along 5 Mile Road west of Beck, north of the M-14 freeway. It includes the vacant Scott Correctional Facility, a former women’s state prison.
The park has more than 20 parcels of 10 to 60 acres ready for development, Ficano said. Most of the land is owned by Plymouth and Northville Townships and the State of Michigan.
“We’re looking to fill the supply chain in the battery and advanced-energy industries,” said Ficano, who is traveling with Gov. Rick Snyder to Japan, South Korea and China. “That would include everything from education to advancement of technology to manufacturing.”
Wayne County is facilitating the project, working with the communities and other land owners to develop infrastructure like roads, water and sewer and attract tenants. The area is a prime commercial location with several technology-related firms nearby.
The vision is to cluster high tech battery makers and suppliers in western Wayne County.
Plymouth Township owns about 350 acres in the proposed park; Northville Township owns about 250 acres.
“Creating this world-class technology park is an important step that will help create jobs and promote long-term economic growth,” said Plymouth Township Supervisor
Richard Reaume. “Every level of government will play a critical role in the state’s economic revival.”
Northville Township Supervisor Mark Abbo added: “Both Plymouth and Northville Township share a common goal of getting these businesses up and running as quickly as possible. We have pledged to provide any help we can to the process whether it involves government permits or not.”
One of the firms located nearby is SoulBrain, a lithium-ion electrolyte producer and supplier for lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems, which has about 1,000 employees in Livonia and Romulus.
Ficano is scheduled to meet this week in South Korea with SoulBrain’s parent firm,
During the trade mission, Ficano will visit the headquarters of several battery and energy storage companies to market the park and other assets of Wayne County.
“Patience is key when building long-term relationships in Asia,” said Ficano, who started his trade missions in 2005. “It takes time to develop and nurture a trust. Asia doesn’t work on a handshake.”
Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano just landed in China as part of a trade mission that includes visits to Japan and South Korea. Updates from Ficano can be found on twitter and www.waynecounty.com.