The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

County board supports bank's Bessemer project


January 12, 2018


Bessemer — The Gogebic County Board of Commissioners Wednesday adopted a resolution in support of the Gogebic Range Bank’s plans to develop the former Body Shop property in the Bessemer Industrial Park into office space.

The Gogebic County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received an application to develop the parcel that is considered “functionally obsolete.”

Rudy Grbavcich, chairman of the GCBRA, and Neil Beckman, representing the bank, discussed the plans with the county board on Wednesday.

Beckman said the taxable value of the parcel at 421 Industrial Park Road will increase from $106,000 to $450,000. There will be spaces for 17 offices and a vault.

After the renovation is completed on the 10,000 square feet, eight to 10 employees will be employed there and more could be added in the future.

Beckman said the GRB has banks in Ironwood, Bessemer, Bergland and Ewen and two in Wisconsin.

He said the renovation is about a $750,000 to $800,000 investment.

Beckman said the bank’s total assets have grown to $130 million.

Grbavcich said the Bessemer City Council approved a resolution supporting the project earlier this month and that was the first step in the process. The county board’s resolution was the second step and the next phase will be a public hearing on Jan. 30.

Beckman said the redevelopment project is similar to the Brownfield redevelopment process that was used for the bank’s successful project on Cloverland Drive in Ironwood.

Brownfield projects enable property owners to pay taxes based on the assessed value prior to improvements, Grbavcich noted. The tax base remains in effect for 30 years, or until the tax recapture exceeds the value of the property, which Beckman said will likely be much less than the 30 years.


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