MDEQ Releases Brownfield Videos

January 10, 2017

For more Information:
Susan Wenzlick, 231-876-4422, wenzlicks@michigan.gov  
Michael Shore, 517-388-9211, shorem2@michigan.gov

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has released the first in a series of videos (https://youtu.be/J_o1SHVTVSA) showcasing its brownfield redevelopment projects. Brownfields are properties that are known or believed to be contaminated. MDEQ helps communities clean up and safely reuse brownfields with financial incentives and technical assistance.

The video series will highlight successful brownfield redevelopment projects, beginning with the Grand Rapids Downtown Market (http://downtownmarketgr.com). The Downtown Market site was previously filled with manufacturing buildings and warehouses in various stages of disrepair. Now it’s a collection of food vendors, restaurants, demonstration kitchens, and a greenhouse in an environmentally-friendly, inviting building with places to sit and enjoy coffee and a cupcake. Special events, classes, parties, and weddings make the Downtown Market a community center as well as a shopping destination.

“This project layered many, many incentives and frankly, the project would not have succeeded without them,” said John Byl, a project partner from Grand Rapids law firm Warner Norcross and Judd. “The MDEQ grant of $1 million and MDEQ brownfield tax increment financing to address demolition and environmental contamination were essential.”

The Downtown Market was developed by a local non-profit partnership, Grand Action (www.grandaction.org), whose vision has transformed downtown Grand Rapids. Grand Action leverages public and private funds and partnerships for downtown redevelopment, such as the Van Andel Arena and Michigan State University Medical School.

Each video in the series will feature a different brownfield redevelopment. Some have transformed their communities; others have created neighborhood destinations or recreation opportunities. To be notified when videos are released, visit www.michigan.gov/deqconnect and sign up for the "RRD News and Info" subscription.

For more information, please visit the MDEQ Brownfields Program web page (www.michigan.gov/deqbrownfields), or contact Susan Wenzlick, Brownfield Redevelopment Coordinator, at 231-876-4422.

The MDEQ is dedicated to respect for Michigan’s citizens, stewardship of the environment, and support for a sustainable economy.