Three Oaks looking for investor to buy 36 acres

The town of Three Oaks, Michigan is looking for someone to buy a 36 acre property with a brand new drainage system.

An investor pulled out of a $25 million project to develop an apartment complex on the 36 acre parcel after he and the planning commission couldn't agree on a project plan.

Business owners near the vacant land say they hope someone develops it soon.

The former Featherbone factory in Three Oaks that made pieces of corsets and coats in World War I has been transformed into a modern distillery and dining experience.

“It’s got the charm, the history, the story, and we were looking for an old factory building and we found it right here in Three Oaks," said Bill Welter, owner of Staymaker at Journeyman Distillery.

Welter owns Journeyman Distillery and opened Staymaker, a full time restaurant, just this week.

“We’ve been using a lot of whiskeys in our recipes, but we’re also milling our own grain on site for our pizzas which are using the same mash as the whiskey," said Welter.

Three Oaks is a village that’s ripe with opportunity.

The village needs a new owner for the 36 acre parcel of land before the $150,000 cost of a new drainage system hits the bills of village residents.

Jim Wisner owns J & W Mercantile and is also on the planning commission.

 “I think that maybe they’re afraid to see any big change come to town," said Wisner.

He feels that his commission passed up the deal of a lifetime but he hasn’t lost hope.
He thinks someone will fall in love with the small village this fall and will be willing to offer up new development ideas to the commission.

“We have a good influx of tourists coming in now, which is very helpful to our store and journeyman and everybody else in town, but it would be a lot nicer to have a little bit more population for the schools," said Wisner.

Due to the $150,000 drainage assessment fee for the system that was put in, the county treasurer says he is willing to sell the property for just $50 bucks in addition to that fee.

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