Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority awarded Grant for Plaza Roosevelt Redevelopment

Agency: Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

August 28, 2018

Contact: 
Andrea Ryswick, MDEQ Brownfield Coordinator, ryswicka@michigan.gov, 616-401-0827
Tiffany Brown, MDEQ Public Information Officer, brownt22@michigan.gov, 517-284-6716

LANSING, MICH. Two blocks of contaminated property in Grand Rapids’ Roosevelt Park neighborhood will be reused with help from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). A $235,000 grant was awarded to the Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to revitalize and safely reuse 6.5 acres on the city’s southwest side.

Nearly two city blocks will be revitalized by the neighborhood-led Plaza Roosevelt redevelopment. Project partners led by Habitat for Humanity of Kent County will build a new public high school, an expanded neighborhood health clinic and pharmacy, affordable Habitat for Humanity homes, multi-family buildings, commercial/retail space, and a public plaza park. The $40,000,000 redevelopment will create 20 to 40 new jobs. Other partners include the Grand Rapids Public Schools, Dwelling Place, Mercy Health, Ferris State University, Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities, the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, the residents of Roosevelt Park, and the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association.

The contamination is from an old car repair business, a dry cleaner, a heating oil tank that leaked, and other development. The MDEQ grant will pay for building demolition, environmental assessments, and disposal of contaminated soil. Grand Rapids will use tax increment financing and its brownfield revolving fund to pay for other eligible costs.

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 www.michigan.gov/deqbrownfields.

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