Historic Grand Traverse Commons Featured in New Video

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

March 29, 2017

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) released the second in a series of videos 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 newest video, available at www.youtube.com/michigandeq, highlights a historic northern Michigan landmark. The site of the Village at Grand Traverse Commons was previously the stigmatized, blighted remains of the Traverse City State Hospital. Now it’s a collection of restaurants, shops, professional offices, and homes in beautifully-restored historic buildings. With its extensive wooded campus, trails, and public spaces and events, the Village at Grand Traverse Commons is a park, community center, and unique destination.
Developers Ray and Raymond Minervini had the vision to restore the historic main structure when the cost and effort required to address brownfield conditions suggested that demolition would be more feasible than redevelopment. The project was a success, in part, thanks to the MDEQ’s investment of brownfield grants, loans, and tax increment financing.

“It’s become clear after 15 years of working on this project that none of it would have been possible without the MDEQ’s brownfield program,” said Raymond. “If we were able to take a 400,000 square foot white elephant that was a former mental hospital and preserve and reuse it, just imagine what can be done with the historic church in your hometown, or the old bank downtown that’s looking for a new use.”

Each video in the series will feature a different brownfield redevelopment which has transformed communities, created neighborhood destinations, or resulted in recreational opportunities. The first video featured the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.

Please visit www.michigan.gov/brownfields for more information about the project.


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