Twp. sets hearing for Industrial Development District on Miller Road

FLINT TWP. — A public hearing set by the township board for August 17 at 7 p.m. is to consider an application for an Industrial Facilities Exemption Certificate for an optical management business pledging to invest about $2.5 billion and create 10-12 new jobs within two years.

DaVinci Equity Group, 4337 Miller Road, has asked the township to establish an Industrial Development District and grant it a12-year Industrial Facilities Exemption Certificate.

Doing business as Riverfront Eyecare, DaVinci has purchased a 12,000 square-foot facility in a strip shopping center on Miller Road that was built in 1988, according to the application from Tim Tippit, DaVinci president and chief financial officer.

They currently are operating two businesses in this space – a retail opti- cal business and a lens manufacturing facility.

DaVinci purchased the retail optical business last September as part of a bankruptcy proceeding, he said. It has a staff of 12 including three optometrists.

They also have moved a laboratory business into the building from a location near Detroit, which has nine employees. This lab manufactures lenses and with proposed new equipment purchases will become a full-service lab capable of producing any type of lens, Tippit said.

Remodeling work began on the retail side of the business in June and is expected to be completed by September 1, he said.

Extensive rehab is also proposed for the lab side of the building including restructuring and adding state-of-theart machinery.

“Since the lab was moved from the Detroit area, we have added 8 people to the payroll and would expect to add another 10-12 over the next 24 months – total new jobs would be near 20 in Flint Township,” Tippit said.

In her introduction of the request to the township board, Tracey Tucker, township building director said, “This is not your typical industrial manufacturing setting.” She added that they would be offering skilled jobs working with machinery and investing about $2.5 million in the total operation.

Notices of the public hearings have been posted, as required, on the township web site at

In March, the board previously approved a Commercial Rehabilitation District (CRD) exemption for Signarama, a business located two doors down from Riverfront at 4297 Miller Road, giving them a 50 percent tax break on new investment for ten years.

Tucker said then that a CRD is similar to an Industrial Facilities Tax exemption except it is for commercial purposes.

Last October, the board approved a 10-year Industrial Facilities Exemption Certificate for 4D Systems. 4130 Market Place. The robotics firm is in a 12,640 squarefoot building on 2.47-acre site, located in an established industrial district off Bristol Road near Bishop International Airport.

Similarly in November 2013, the board approved a 12-year Industrial Facilities Exemption Certificate for Signs by Crannie, 4145 Market Place, across the road from 4D Systems.

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