Signarama gets rehab exemption

FLINT TWP. — After eight years, Signarama has outgrown its current building on MIller Road in the Yorkshire Plaza and is looking for growing room.

Owners Gordon and Deana Wallace found it in another MIller Road building that has been vacant for at least seven years.

They expect to spend about $322,000 over the next two years bringing that 10, 250 square foot building up to code. They asked township officials to grant a Commercial Rehabilitation District exemption for the property at 4297 Miller Road that will give then a 50 percent tax break on new investment.

After two public hearings Monday night, the township board granted their request to establish a rehabilitation district and issued a 12-year exemption certificate.

Tracey Tucker, township building director, explained that the tax break is only for the new investment. What exists there now, a former waterbed store, will continue being taxed at 100 percent, she said.

Not including the purchase price of the property, the Wallaces rehab plans include resurfacing the parking lot, adding overhead doors, energy-efficient lighting, hearing and window upgrades , painting inside and out, updating bathrooms, decorative landscaping, signage and other exterior improvements. Built in 1985, the structure has a partial lower unfinished basement.

Wallace said he expects to create ten new jobs paying $15 an hour. They also plan to buy new equipment. Rehab is underway with a targeted completion of the build out by May 30 and completion of the exterior facade by May 1.

Tucker said the tax break would revert and the money from the tax break have to be repaid if the Wallaces leave the building before the 12 years expire in Dec. 30, 2026.

Wallace said they are basing their growth plans on what they have observed at other Signarama franchises.

He and his wife started the business with two employees and now have nine.

They started out with one truck now have three and they gave grown from a 1,500 square-foot building to fill to overflowing a 3,000 square-foot space.

“Over the years we have grown,’’ he said. “With the new space we will have the ability to grow and compete.” Justin Sprague, special projects director for the Flint & Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce spoke on behalf of the Wallaces.

Besides working with the township on economic development of the I-69 corridor, the chamber also works with local businesses to ensure they have the resources to grow and expand, he said.

“I am happy to see the Wallaces are ready to take the next step,”he said.

“On behalf of the Chamber, I ask you to support this exemption and help the Wallaces to continue to make Flint Township their home.”

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