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Genisys CU looks to build new facility in village



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February 12, 2014 - A local financial institution is hoping to transform two houses and a vacant lot along M-24 into a brand new facility in Oxford Village.

Genisys Credit Union has submitted plans to construct a 3,300-square-foot branch, complete with drive-through area, on the site of what is now 114, 118 and 120 S. Washington St.

The site is located just south of Coldwell Banker Shooltz Realty and just north of Holy Cross Lutheran Church.

Tom Alter, senior vice president of research and development for Genisys, explained the new facility would offer more "convenience" for its members via the drive-through and increase the credit union's visibility with a storefront right on "main street."

Genisys plans to request a conditional rezoning and site plan approval at the village planning commission's 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 4 meeting, according to Alter.

The credit union also plans to request special use approval for an electronic sign to display messages for advertising purposes and possibly community events.

"The zoning ordinance does not allow those types of electronic signs. That's why they need the special use approval," explained village planner Chris Khorey, a senior planner at the Northville-based McKenna Associates.

Public hearings for the conditional rezoning and special use sign have been scheduled for March 4 (see public notices on Page 23).

By building a facility in the village, Genisys would go from being a tenant to a property owner in Oxford.

The credit union currently leases just over 3,000 square feet of space inside the Oxford Marketplace shopping center.

Genisys has a total of 23 locations, most of which are housed in facilities owned by the credit union.

"We only lease a few," Alter said.

Alter confirmed that Genisys has purchase agreements with the owners of all three parcels, which combined total 0.95 acre. Those agreements are contingent on the village approving the plan.

Genisys will be requesting a conditional rezoning of the property from Commercial Office (C-O) to General Business (C-2).

That's because drive-through areas are prohibited in the C-O district, but are permitted by right in the C-2 district.

In the proposed plan, the drive-through would be located behind the building, so it wouldn't be visible from M-24.

C-2 zoning would also allow Genisys to have a larger sign such as the freestanding, electronic one with a maximum area of 24 square feet depicted in the credit union's proposal. Under C-O zoning, signage is limited to 16 square feet.

A new Genisys facility would generate additional property tax revenue for the village, township, school district and all the other applicable units of government.

Based on their combined taxable value of $99,000, the three S. Washington St. parcels generated a total of $5,119 in property tax revenue in 2013, according to village Manager Joe Young.

Although Alter declined to comment on how much Genisys intends to spend on this proposed facility, Young said he was told it will cost more than $1.2 million.

Based on an estimated taxable value of $600,000, the new facility would generate a total of $35,316 in revenue for all the taxing authorities, according to Young.

Because it would be located in the Downtown Development Authority district, that entity would capture a portion of the revenue, but Young hasn't calculated how much.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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