Grayling awarded Brownfield Grant to redevelop downtown corner

Agency: Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

May 21, 2018

Julie Lowe, MDEQ Brownfield Coordinator,,  989-619-0617
Tiffany Brown, MDEQ Public Information Officer,, 517-284-6716

LANSING, MICH.  Two vacant, contaminated storefronts in downtown Grayling will be returned to productive use with help from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). A $454,000 grant was awarded to the city of Grayling to address environmental conditions, allowing for the safe reuse of the former Sawmill Tavern and Avalanche newspaper office located on Michigan Avenue.

Local developers Thomas and Judy Steffen plan to construct a mixed-use building with commercial space on the street level and apartments on the upper floors. The $4.1 million redevelopment will create up to 10 new jobs and eight new rental apartments.

The Crawford County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the Crawford County Board of Commissioners, with the concurrence of the city of Grayling have approved a brownfield plan to pay for sewer and water upgrades and other costs to prepare the site for redevelopment.

The MDEQ partners with communities to protect public health and the environment and revitalize contaminated property. MDEQ grants and loans pay for environmental investigation and cleanup on brownfields.  Brownfields are vacant or abandoned properties with known or suspected environmental contamination.

Partnerships between MDEQ and communities have created $4 billion in private investment and 29,000 new jobs over the life of the Brownfield Redevelopment Program. Each grant and loan dollar invested by the MDEQ in 2017 to protect residents and the environment is expected to return an average of $32 to the state’s economy. When brownfields are redeveloped, property values increase both on the revitalized site and on other nearby properties. Learn more at

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