$4.6M in EGLE brownfield funding to help redevelop contaminated sites in Southwest Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 4, 2021
Jill A. Greenberg, EGLE spokesperson, GreenbergJ@Michigan.gov, 517-897-4965

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has awarded $4.6 million in brownfield grants and loans to five projects for redevelopment of contaminated properties in Southwest Michigan. Overall, this summer EGLE will provide $15.6 million in brownfield funding to 21 projects statewide.

Plans include mixed-use commercial and housing in Muskegon Heights, a new industrial office building in Grand Rapids, a residential development in downtown Grand Haven, a new dental office in Cascade Township and a credit union in Comstock.

More than half of EGLE's budget each year flows into Michigan communities through grants, loans and other spending that supports local projects, protects public health and the environment, ultimately creating economic growth and jobs for Michigan workers. When brownfields - vacant or abandoned properties with known or suspected contamination - are redeveloped, property values increase both on the revitalized site awards and on other nearby properties.

EGLE's Remediation and Redevelopment Division provides financial and technical assistance including grants, loans, tax increment financing and free site assessments to facilitate the redevelopment of brownfield properties.

'Reaching New Heights' in Muskegon Heights

The city of Muskegon Heights plans to use a $1 million EGLE Brownfield Redevelopment Grant to assist Ele' Louise LLC in redeveloping a contaminated site into a new mixed-use retail and residential development. This will include three new three-story buildings with a total of 11 commercial retail units and 28 residential apartments. Located at the corner of Peck Street and East Sherman Boulevard, this project is part of the Muskegon Heights "Reaching New Heights" initiative.

The development will take place at a site already complicated by environmental contamination. The EGLE brownfield grant will help fund environmental cleanup and mitigation efforts at the property. This will protect residents, customers and employees from contamination, and will revitalize this deteriorated corridor in the urban core of Muskegon Heights.

Environmental sampling at the site has identified chlorinated solvent contamination, most likely resulting from its historic use as a dry cleaner. The EGLE brownfield grant will pay for additional investigation activities, demolition of the vacant and blighted buildings, removal of contaminated soil, and installation of subsurface barriers and ventilation systems to prevent harmful subsurface vapors from entering the proposed buildings.

The project will bring a capital investment of $4.5 million and create 50 new full-time jobs and 25 new part-time jobs.

The redevelopment project is planned to compliment the adjacent residential neighborhoods and create new amenities to benefit area residents and downtown Muskegon Heights.

In addition to the brownfield redevelopment grant, the city of Muskegon Heights, under the vision and leadership of the mayor and city council, is prepared to approve the use of tax increment financing through its brownfield redevelopment authority for non-environmental eligible activities needed for success of the project.

(EGLE site contact: Andrea Ryswick, EGLE Brownfield Coordinator, RyswickA@Michigan.gov, 616-401-0827) 

1601 Madison LLC

The city of Grand Rapids will demolish an underutilized, blighted building and make a contaminated site at 1601 Madison Ave SE safe for reuse in spring 2022.  A $1 million brownfield redevelopment grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) will pay for environmental costs and demolition to make way for a new industrial office building. 

"We are very grateful for EGLE's continued partnership with the Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority in revitalizing vacant and contaminated properties," said Jeremiah Gracia, director of economic development for the city of Grand Rapids.  "This partnership is critical for us in our work to support developments that create safe and productive places where Grand Rapids residents will enjoy employment and career advancement opportunities."

In addition to demolishing the existing structure, the brownfield grant will pay for removal of contaminated soil.

1601 Madison LLC will build a new 51,000-square-foot industrial office building, which will be leased to a technology and data management company.  The new development will relocate 69 existing jobs to Grand Rapids and create 26 new full time equivalent jobs in the area. 

(EGLE site contact: Andrea Ryswick, EGLE Brownfield Coordinator, RyswickA@Michigan.gov, 616-401-0827) 

105 Fulton Avenue in Grand Haven

The Grand Haven Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use a $900,000 brownfield redevelopment grant and a $900,000 brownfield redevelopment loan from EGLE to help make a contaminated site safe for reuse this summer, making way for a new residential development.

River Caddis Development, LLC will build a new 124-unit market-rate residential development located at 105 Fulton Avenue, Grand Haven. The development will span two city blocks and will include four residential buildings, an amenity building, and a pool.

The EGLE funding will pay for the proper handling and disposal of contaminated soil and groundwater, removal of an underground storage tank, and installation of subsurface barriers and ventilation systems to prevent exposure to contamination.

The project is expected to increase the taxable value of the property to $9 million and create three new jobs.

"This project is a stellar example of the public and private sectors working together for a mutual benefit," said Kevin McGraw, president of River Caddis Development. "EGLE, along with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the city of Grand Haven came together on a very complicated and time-consuming process to better the community in which we all live."

(EGLE site contact: Mike Gurnee, EGLE Brownfield Coordinator, GurneeM1@Michigan.gov, 269-568-1291)

Robinson Dental

The Cascade Charter Township Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use a $455,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant and a $313,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Loan to remediate a contaminated, underutilized property that will be redeveloped into a dental office.

Coco Properties LLC and Scott and Beth Robinson DDS PC plan to build a two-story, 8,519-square-foot dental office at the property, located at 5749 28th St. 

Soil and groundwater became contaminated by historic dumping of asphalt and concrete debris on the property. The brownfield funding will pay for assessment of the site's environmental condition and removal of contaminated soil.  

The project is expected to increase the taxable value of the property to $1.2 million and create 35 new professional jobs.

"We are very excited to be expanding Robinson Dental to the Cascade area," said Drs. Scott and Beth Robinson.  "We have considered this to be our home for over 20 years. Robinson Dental has a patient-centered practice philosophy committed to same-day care, the newest technologies and expanded hours to better serve our community. This is a great moment of collaboration between Cascade Township, the State of Michigan and our business community."

This project has served as a catalyst for the local township to establish a Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, which provides an economic development tool for Cascade Township to support future brownfield projects in its jurisdiction.

(EGLE site contact: Janet Michaluk, EGLE Brownfield Coordinator, MichalukJ@Michigan.gov,  517-643-0314)

KALSEE Credit Union

The Charter Township of Comstock will use a $360,000 brownfield redevelopment grant to address environmental contamination at a site that will become a credit union. After remediation, KALSEE Credit Union will build a new branch location at 5242 Gull Road, Comstock Township. The redevelopment will create two new jobs.

The EGLE funding will pay to remove contaminated soil and install barriers and a ventilation system to prevent exposure to subsurface contamination. Soil and groundwater at the site were contaminated by gasoline from a leaking underground storage tank and previous site use as an auto service garage.

(EGLE site contact: Mike Gurnee, EGLE Brownfield Coordinator, GurneeM1@Michigan.gov, 269-568-1291)

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