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Federal Screw Works factory to be demolished, property remediated

Courtesy photo.

Magellan Properties has secured all final permits and hired C & I Dismantling of Clinton Township for the demolition and cleanup of the abandoned Federal Screw Works factory.

The 80,000-square-foot plant at 500 S. Main St., closed on April 30, 2005 and was purchased in the fall of 2007 by Magellan Properties, which planned a mixed use project.

In 2008, Magellan received both the approval of a Brownfield Plan from Washtenaw County as well as preliminary site plan from Chelsea Planning Commission. However, the project was put on hold until the local real estate market improved, according to a press release.

This year, Magellan was able to secure an EPA funded Brownfield loan to proceed with the demolition and remediation of the site, according to the press release.

The site will be graded and seeded until a future user can be found.

“The main goal is to remove the buildings and contaminants, then we will see what user groups may have interest,” said Magellan representative Rene Papo, in a press release.

John Evans from Swisher Commercial has been hired to market the property.

“This is one of the remaining large vacant parcels left in the City of Chelsea,” Evans said in the press release. “We anticipate a lot of interest once the demolition and clean up is complete. I believe it will go to a good user, maybe medical, related given the recent improvements at Chelsea Community Hospital.”

The contractor will mobilize this week and demolition is expected to be completed by the end of January.

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5 thoughts on “Federal Screw Works factory to be demolished, property remediated”

  1. Another Chelsea landmark am sad to see go. Maybe one day, all these people who want to see Progress, will sit back and say – what did we do?? It about makes me ashamed to have been Chelsea born – good luck all of you, wou shall need it one day down the road.
    And not ashamed to sign my name either
    Judy Woolley-Schneider) Kettunen.
    If my late husband could see all that was going on there now, he would be appalled as I am now.

  2. Indeed, it is sad that at least part of this property will not be saved as a testimony to the important part the Federal Screw Works played in Chelsea’s history. As with the Daniels Car Showroom, when buildings are demolished, they are gone forever. You can’t create sense of place in a vacuum surrounded by parking. Hopefully, we will learn to value adaptive reuse of significant places before it is too late.

  3. I deeply regret the mindset that says “After the buildings are removed we will see what user groups may have interest.” Suppose a user group’s interest is in rehabilitating the historic buildings that have just been demolished? And what are we to make of this attitude: “We anticipate a lot of interest once demolition is complete.” Is property of no interest until it is cleared? Can no one in the City administration visualize adaptive reuse of historic buildings?

    There are several century-old gems on this property that should not be destroyed: the original office of Chelsea Screw Company (on Main Street), the Art Deco office on Congdon Street, and the monitor-roofed factory building adjoining this office. All three of these beautiful and sound buildings reflect the pride and prominence of a historically-significant company in Chelsea’s history. Yet it appears all the City can think of is “Let’s see what the lot looks like when it is cleared.” How myopic; how destructive of our built history; how utterly shameful.

  4. It makes me sad as well. However, I can understand why we need improvement in that area. My grandfather worked in that building during WWII and the way I understand it, a lot of women worked there as well making ammunition for the war effort. It is a big piece of Chelsea history that we loose when that building comes down. I wouldn’t even known this was happening if it wasn’t for my daughter who’s doing a school project on the building. I hope they find away to save some of it but it sounds to me that won’t be the case. Sad days indeed.

  5. I was born and raised in Chelsea, as were my parents. After graduation I left for college and my adult life but realized in 1981 that I wanted to move back to Chelsea. I worked in Ann Arbor and, at that time, people thought I was crazy to move “way out there”. I came back because of my history and to live in my grandmothers former home a half block from the downtown. I loved it. I could walk a short distance and get everything I needed. I still live a half block from the downtown but now I have to drive to get most things. Thankfully, the hardware store is still there! I am devastated at how little respect our history has to those in the decision-making seats. While they continue to market our city as a Historic Destination it is becoming anything but that. The demolition of Daniels showroom was disturbing because it is a glaring example of the “bulldozer” mindset of our DDA and city officials. The livery is still in their sites. The lack of support toward maintaining any of the Screw Plant is just one more blow to our history. When cost is the primary consideration and building one’s own legacy the primary motivation we are doomed to becoming nothing more than an extension of the suburbs where one can stand on any corner and not know what city you are in. Soon, no one will come to see history only in plaques and empty lots–even if there’s plenty of “parking”. Some legacy that is.

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