New businesses under construction on W. Maple Avenue

FLINT TWP. — Two new business are under construction on West Maple Avenue in Flint Township.

The Grounds driving range and pro shop began construction on 43 acres last March. The business will include a single-level 3,300-square-foot driving range with about 30 tees, including 10 covered and heated tees; a simulator; pro shop; and vending machines for pop and snacks. Owner Wesley Hull of Swartz Creek said he plans to open the facility in June, with one or two pros employed to give lessons.

Hull, who is also the boys golf coach at Swartz Creek High School, said the family-owned business is part of his retirement plan after working for United Parcel Service for more than 35 years.

“I have four boys who all play golf,” he said. “My one son graduated from Kettering and has done a lot of the designing, going off models of other ranges. We’ll have grass tees, synthetic tees and 10 heated tees, so it’ll be all-season. There’s only one other driving range still open in the area, so we thought it would help out the community.”

Hull is especially excited about the simulator, which uses a big-screen panel to allow players to simulate golfing at some of the world’s greatest courses, such as Pebble Beach. The simulator also diagnoses problems to help players improve their game.

“I’ve got my team practicing on it right now,” he said.

Barrett Donut Mixes is moving its operations from Burton to West Maple Avenue in order to have more room to expand its business. The company makes dry mixes for doughnuts, cakes, quick breads chicken breading and custom blending for other companies.

General Manager Andy Barrett said the company’s new facility will be 18,000 to 20,000 square feet and will allow room to expand the business, upgrade and add equipment and add jobs.

“The biggest thing right now is the building, just to have more room and make things more efficient,” Barrett said. “The move will help us have more money for expansion and putting new trucks on the road. As we bring in new customer accounts, we’ll need new people.”

Barrett said the company currently employs five people but employs up to 20 workers during the busy season from about the end of July through the end of November. The company sells its products mostly in the Midwest and eastern United States to farmers markets, orchards, grocery stores, doughnut shops and restaurants.

Barrett said the new facility in Flint Township should be up and running by early summer. Barrett Donut Mixes has ben located in Burton since 1951.

The Flint Township Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing during its regular meeting at 7 p.m. April 1 to hear comments and vote on creating an industrial development district at West Maple Avenue. The Grounds and Barrett Donut Mixes currently are the only businesses located there, according to Economic Enhancement Director Tracey Tucker.


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