WORK HAS BEGUN in Vernon on the crushing of approximately 300,000 tons of concrete piping left over when the Premarc Corporation vacated the property at the intersection of E. M-71 and Bennington Road. Bryan Marks purchased the property and moved his businesses, Great Lakes Fusion and Exotic Concrete Creations, onto the property in 2014. He has since opened Great Lakes Ready Mix, Great Lakes Fabrication and Machining, and Great Lakes Rentals on the site, in addition to leasing space to 2nd Chance Wood and Vernon Upholstery.
With the goal being to further develop the 40-acre site, Marks obtained a Tax Increment Financing (TIF)/Brownfield reimbursement earlier this year to help with the cost associated with crushing the concrete that covers between 20 and 30 acres of the site. Marks then purchased the large concrete crushing implement shown, and is now working to crush and screen the concrete and metal for re-use.
After the concrete is inserted into the crusher, the metal is then removed and the different portions of concrete are sorted into separate piles, via a large conveyor. The metal is recycled, and the leftover concrete materials, one-by-three base material and 21A crushed concrete, are sorted for future use.
Marks has been trying to get rid of his large inventory of concrete piping for awhile, but the statewide demand for concrete crushing contractors left Marks with few options other than to figure out how to do it himself. His purchase of the mobile concrete crushing machine, which is one of two of its size in the state of Michigan, now puts him in the position to employ more people on site, as well as around the state.
Without the TIF, crushing the concrete made little sense, financially, considering the approximate $1.6 million cost of the project. Now, Marks’ plan to develop an industrial complex on the site is closer to becoming a reality.
“What this is going to allow me to do is clean up this property and open it up for future development, whether it is my expansion or other businesses moving into the area,” Marks said recently. “And not only that, this is taking care of a blight situation, and, potentially, this will create more tax base for the community and more jobs. We talked with our neighbors before we started this project, and everyone is really excited to see this mess cleaned up.”
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)