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100-year-old business builds new headquarters in Rochester on former brownfield site

Front and side of exterior of Frank Rewold & Sons headquarters building in Rochester, MichiganFrank Rewold & Sons construction company had a goal: construct a new headquarters on a piece of property contaminated from previous users in time to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Located in Rochester since 1918, the company has deep roots in the community. In a matter of 10 months, it constructed its new 50,000 square-foot headquarters along the Paint Creek.

Prior to the property's redevelopment, the contaminated brownfield had lain dormant for over 20 years. The City of Rochester contacted the then Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in 2017 about loans and grants from the State of Michigan. It received a $1 million Brownfield Redevelopment grant and a $1 million Brownfield Redevelopment loan for the project.

The company's challenges included dealing with contaminated soil, an abandoned riverbed, buried debris, poorly compacted soil, and deed restrictions placed by the liable party. And all while protecting a nearby creek. As part of the redevelopment, some 5,500 tons of contaminated soil were removed from the site.

The project features:

  • A vapor mitigation system installed beneath the building to prevent exposure to occupants.
  • A direct contact barrier to prevent contact with contaminated soils, and
  • A 50,000-gallon stormwater system that collects and treats 80 percent of rain before it reaches Paint Creek.

Completed in time for the company's 100-anniversary celebration, the building was cited as example of economic development and environmental stewardship working together.

More details are in the Construction Association of Michigan's magazine.

Photo credit: Frank Rewold & Sons

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