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Business Spotlight: Tony Antone, Amazon & Vistar

In addition to Amazon, Tony is also the developer behind Vistar, the 165,200-square-foot food distribution center currently in development at Smith and Vining, expected to create over 100 local jobs. Originally located in Belleville, Vistar was looking to grow and expand, but didn’t have space to do so. Tony suggested setting up shop in Romulus—and Vistar agreed.

“Romulus makes a lot of sense for this kind of business because of its access to major freeways, the airport and the Vining Road interchange,” Tony said. “It’s a business-friendly community with a lot of land to develop, which is perfect for a budding company like Vistar.”

The Vistar development deal almost didn’t go through, though, because of complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reacting quickly despite multiple challenges, the City of Romulus worked closely with Tony and Vistar to organize socially distanced and virtual meetings to keep the project moving forward. Tony says the City’s flexibility and willingness to go out of their way to help—something not often provided by city governments—was essential in advancing the development.

Vistar and the Amazon fulfillment center are both part of the Romulus Tax Increment Finance Plan (TIFA) district, meaning a fraction of the taxes collected from both properties goes toward new development projects, helping to continue to grow the local economy. Some TIFA accomplishments have included the Romulus Athletic Center, Animal Shelter, landscaping and lighting, and road construction and resurfacing.

The Vistar development is on track to have a grand opening by June 2021, despite the setback of the pandemic.

Through a continued partnership with local developers and companies, as well as investments in local infrastructure, the City of Romulus maintains a commitment to creating a Home of Opportunity where businesses and residents alike can thrive and grow. If you are a developer or looking to start a business in Romulus, please visit http://romulusgov.com/departments/economic_development/.