Wayne County showcases ‘Mill Run’
Mar. 18, 2019 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
County Executive Warren Evans recently detailed plans for the Wayne County Mill Run Project in a video presentation.
Plans call for the reuse of three historic mill properties built by Henry Ford. The project focuses on connections, recreation, and activation through the redevelopment of the Ford Village Industries Mills and surrounding trails with park improvements.
Evans says the goals are to create new connections to neighborhoods, community downtown areas with the establishment of a public-private partnership.
“While this plan, dubbed “Mill Run,” does involve selling specific parcels, it will ultimately result in an expanded Hines Park. We have three goals of Mill Run:
1. Activate park space that is currently underused and, ultimately, expand the 2,300 acres of Hines Park by adding at least 16-29 acres or more to the Hines Park footprint;
2. Incorporate Hines Park into a broader effort to better connect parks and trails with the communities around them; and
3. Reuse three historic mill properties built by Henry Ford before they are lost for good.
“We’ve decided to market the legacy manufacturing properties for sale after determining it is the most effective way to protect them and the history they represent. Buyers will be required, as a condition of any sale, to adaptively reuse the mills. They will be also required to include public space in their redevelopments that honors the history of these sites. We are seeking partners who are interested in contextual projects that will complement and enhance Hines Park such as restaurants, breweries, art galleries, bike shops, and similarly scaled enterprises.”
Timeline of the Mills
1922:New Phoenix Mill production facility completed in Plymouth Township, designed by Albert Kahn. It was used for assembly of things such as voltage meters, light switches and generator cutouts.
1923:New Wilcox Mill production facility completed; things including generator cutouts and tools for forming internal screw threads were produced there.
1935:New Newburgh Mill production facility completed. There, things like twist drills and drill bits were produced.
1948: Ford Motor Co. transfers ownership of Phoenix and Newburgh mills to Wayne County Road Commission. Phoenix Mill operations moved to Ypsilanti.
1949:Ford releases all deed restrictions on Wilcox Mill; those operations had moved to Waterford Township.
1948-2007: Phoenix MIll is used by the Wyane County Road Commission as its sign shop and headquarters for the Bridges Division.
1948-present:Wilcox Mill is a Wayne County maintenance and storage facility.
1948-present:Newburgh Mill is headquarters for the Wayne County Forestry Division and Sheriff’s Department Mounted Division.
May 2018:Critical Mass LLC signs a purchase and development agreement for Phoenix Mill.
September 2018: Wayne County Commission Economic Development Committee and then Wayne County Commission approve the sale of Phoenix Mill to Critical Mass LLC.
2018-19:Marketing continues for Wilcox Mill and Newburgh Mill.