Sylvan Township will soon have a new and unusual business – Elite Arms, Inc., a manufacturer’s rep for defense-related products – which will move into the former Thomas J. Tuttle property at 18600 Old US-12.
Elite Arms, Inc. “specializes in defense-related products for law enforcement and the military market,” says Dennis Finnegan, its president, who started the business in 2007.
The company’s products include optics, uniforms, cleaning kits, helmets and body armor and serves as a manufacturer’s rep both in the U.S. and abroad, he says.
“Our top customers are U.S. military Special Forces units,” Finnegan says, while other notable clients include the Michigan State Police, and Jackson County, Washtenaw County and Oakland County Sheriff’s Departments.
The company is a “registered exporter and broker with the U.S. Department of State and it has its Federal Firearms License issued by the ATF,” according to information provided to the township.
According to the company’s Website, “Elite Defense was incorporated … to assist small- to medium-size small arms accessory manufacturers with international marketing, representation, export compliance, and distribution management.”
Currently located at 3045 Broad St. in the Village of Dexter, Elite Arms has 10 employees, all of whom are retired military. The Army, Air Force and Marine veterans will make the move to the Sylvan Township building, Finnegan says, noting that he hopes to add two more employees in the future.
Finnegan called the Sylvan Township location ideal because of its increased space and close proximity to I-94.
“The addition of Elite Arms and the Chevy dealership to the township is part of a continued effort on our part to attract new businesses to Sylvan,” says Bob Lange, supervisor, who noted that the company will pay about $19,650 in real property taxes to the township.
Tom Caplis, zoning administrator for the township, said a representative for the company first stopped by the township offices in February to check on township ordinances.
The parcel is zoned Industrial and light manufacturing is allowed in the district without any special use permits, Caplis said.
Currently, Elite Arms is leasing about 10,000 square feet and will move into a new facility that is 24,750 square feet.
Finnegan says before the move, he plans renovations to its office space at the new location and expects to occupy the building sometime in September.
Elite Arms marks the fourth new business with plans to open in the township this year. In addition is a small auto body shop, the car dealership, a new store called The Pointe at Cavanaugh Lake, which is being remodeled at 163 Cavanaugh Lake Road.