See How the Cleanup of an Old Power Plant Sparked a Downtown Transformation; Lansing's riverfront featured in new video

Contact: Susan Wenzlick, Brownfield Redevelopment Coordinator, wenzlicks@michigan.gov, 231-876-4422
Agency: Environmental Quality

August 10, 2017

Anthony Pecchio of Christman Capital Development Company and Bob Trezise of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership can’t imagine downtown Lansing today without the redevelopment of the riverfront supported by a grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

“The (abandoned) power station on the Downtown Lansing skyline…was really symbolic of the old Lansing thinking; what we couldn’t do,” said Trezise in a new video from the MDEQ.  “But with the MDEQ, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the AF Group, we were able to put together a public-private partnership that said yes we can.”

The new Brownfield Flip-Capital City Riverfront video, available at www.youtube.com/michigandeq, shows the behind-the-scenes effort and investment that helped turn the obsolete Ottawa Street Power Plant, an old coal-fired power plant on the Grand River, into the catalyst for a thriving neighborhood that attracts jobs and new talent to downtown Lansing. 

“The building was a great canvas.  It was a contaminated site and we were able to clean that up…with MDEQ funds.  If it felt gray before I think it’s a vibrant palette of colors now,” said Pecchio.  “This was truly a life-changing project and a city-changing project.”

The redevelopment project was a success, in part, thanks to the MDEQ’s investment of brownfield and waterfront redevelopment grants and tax increment financing.  Approximately 268,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater was cleaned up from the site. 

The MDEQ helps communities clean up and safely reuse brownfields, properties known or believed to be contaminated, with financial incentives and technical assistance and turn their eyesores into thriving businesses and neighborhoods.

The Brownfield Flip video series highlights areas where the MDEQ helped communities clean up and safely reuse brownfield properties. Each episode features interviews and insights from local officials and developers about partnerships, tactics, and tools for brownfield redevelopment.

Other videos, available at www.youtube.com/michigandeq feature the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, Traverse City’s Grand Traverse Commons, and Uptown in Bay City.  Please visit www.michigan.gov/deqbrownfields for more information about the program.

 

Additional contact: Melody Kindraka, MDEQ Public Information Officer, kindrakam1@michigan.gov, 517-284-6716