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U-M will buy Bendix Corp.'s vacant aerospace building

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U-M will buy Bendix Corp.'s vacant aerospace building



The Bendix Corp. has made an offer "the University of Michigan couldn’t resist.

The U-M will buy Bendix’s now-vacant aerospace building and its 26.9 acre site on Green Road in northeast Ann Arbor at a bargain basement price of $1.6 million.

The property is appraised by the city of Ann Arbor at $1.8 million. Even better, the land is being sold for $10,000 an acre while nearby University-owned land is appraised at $25,000, according to Vice President for Finances James Brinkerhoff.

The 80,500 square foot building will become the new home of the U-M’s Printing Service which will move out of its present facility on North Campus.

The Printing Service Building will be occupied by the U-M College of Engineering’s Center for Robotics and Integrated Manufac-

turing and the independent, state-supported Industrial Technology Institute.

The relocation of CRIM is part of the University’s effort to consolidate its engineering programs on North Campus. The University is also providing space for the robotics institute in its early stages. The institute will eventually move into its own facility on a yet-to-be-designated site, allowing expansion of CRIM’s programs.

About 40 percent of the Bendix aerospace building will be used for Printing Services and another 40 percent as warehouse space, Brinkerhoff said.

The building also contains a high altitude chamber which could be used for U-M research projects, Brinkerhoff said. It was last used to freeze-dry papers of U-M economics faculty damaged by water and ice in the Christmas Eve, 1981, fire which destroyed the Economics Building on central campus.

Renovation of the building to

house Printing Services should cost about $400,000, according to Brinkerhoff. He said 20 acres of the land will be held either for use by other University departments or for future re-sale.

The building became available after Bendix closed down its Aerospace Systems Operation at the 1919 Green Road location last year. When the closing was announced in late 1981, about 135 employees were working at the site.

Many of Bendix’s remaining aerospace contracts were taken over by KMS Fusion, Inc., of Ann Arbor.

At its peak during the Apollo space program in the late 1960s — culminating with the landing of U.S. astronauts on the moon -Bendix Aerospace employed more 'than 1,500 people in Ann Arbor.

In 1975, another Bendix building nearby on Plymouth Road was sold to the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan.