Land sale finalized at airport

ESCANABA — The sale of about five acres of property at the Delta County Airport to an individual buyer was closed recently. Delta County Administrator Philip Strom said he hopes the sale will spur economic development in the county.

According to Strom, the property — which is located near Upper Hand Brewery — was sold to Joseph Smeester. Strom noted Smeester is listed as a trustee on the deed for the property.

“Mr. Smeester is a business owner from Iron Mountain, and there are several potential projects that are currently in the research and development phase that are related to logistics,” he said.

Smeester may use the property for one of these projects. However, his plans for the property have not yet been finalized.

Conversations regarding the possible sale of airport property to Smeester predated both Strom’s hiring as county administrator and Jeffery Sierpien entering the role of airport manager. Strom and Sierpien met with Smeester several times to discuss the history of Smeester’s efforts to buy the land, finalize details and close on a sale agreement; the sale was closed on May 29.

Strom said he is optimistic about the possibilities created by Smeester’s purchase of the airport property.

“I think that the airport has a great deal of potential for economic development and for business opportunities…,” he said.

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