BRIDGMAN — Nearly 50 acres just north of Bridgman could soon be the home of a new industrial operation.
LECO Corp. has donated the industrial real estate to Cornerstone Alliance, the economic development agency announced in a news release Wednesday.
Cornerstone Alliance and the Renaissance Development Fund will partner with Berrien County Community Development and the Berrien County Land Bank to hold and collaboratively showcase the property in order to find the highest and best use of the site.
“On behalf of a grateful community, I would like to thank the Warren family and LECO Corp. for this generous donation,” Rob Cleveland, president of Cornerstone Alliance, said in the news release. “I’m confident that this donation will lead directly to new job creation and new investment in Berrien County and Lake Charter Township.”
The property is located in Lake Township at the northwest corner of the intersection of Lemon Creek and Gast roads. The property is zoned for industrial use and is adjacent to the CSX rail line.
Cleveland said the property is an ideal location based on its proximity to I-94 and being adjacent to a major railroad.
“Cornerstone Alliance partnered with the Bridgman and Lake Township communities and its Growth Alliance for precisely this reason. The acquisition of this property adds an attractive location for companies looking for a new place to build a facility,” he said.
Since 1936, LECO has built laboratory equipment for multiple types of scientific testing. Based in St. Joseph, the company recently invested in a $19 million expansion in St. Joseph Township.
“This particular piece of property has been underutilized for many years and has so much to offer the Lake Township community,” Christopher Warren, president of sales for LECO, said in the release. “Cornerstone Alliance has the resources and experience in business development to identify new options for this land that will have a positive impact on the community.”
Wightman and Associates will provide environmental and planning expertise for the long-term buildout of the site.
Brett Boyd, president of the Greater Bridgman Chamber and Growth Alliance, said the organization believes it’s a great step forward for the area.
“We see the potential this parcel has for job creation and investment, and we support the acquisition by Cornerstone Alliance and Berrien County,” Boyd said in the release. “This is one more example of how the CGA and its partners are working together to help our existing businesses grow and recruit new companies and people to greater Bridgman.”