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$2.1 million in EGLE brownfield funding to help redevelop contaminated sites in Northern Michigan, Upper Peninsula

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has awarded $2.1 million in brownfield grants and loans for redevelopment of contaminated properties in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Overall, in 2022 EGLE will provide $20.7 million in brownfield funding to 67 projects statewide.

The plans include redeveloping a historic bank building in Marquette, and a new gas station/convenience store in Honor.

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.

State Savings Bank Building in Marquette

The city of Marquette, Marquette Vault LLC, and EGLE have partnered to facilitate the redevelopment of the historic State Savings Bank Building and construction of new commercial space, residential space and public parking in the heart of downtown Marquette.

Historically, the site accommodated a rail line and an automobile garage/service center. Existing contamination in soil and groundwater, likely attributable to these former uses, will be addressed to make the site safe for reuse.

A $495,000 brownfield redevelopment grant and a $1 million loan from EGLE will pay for environmental costs, select demolition and asbestos abatement. Contaminated soil and groundwater will be properly disposed of and barriers beneath the new construction installed to prevent potential exposure to subsurface contamination. Additionally, the city has approved a brownfield plan to capture future tax revenue to help pay for other environmental costs and site improvements.

After the site can be safely reused, Marquette Vault LLC will transform the State Savings Bank into a boutique hotel and construct a new 70,000-square-foot development to include additional hotel rooms, commercial space, residential units and a 200-space public parking facility. It is anticipated that the $33.5 million redevelopment project will result in several benefits for Marquette including the creation of 10 full-time jobs, 40 part-time jobs and a $10.5 million increase in the property’s taxable value.

“As a homeowner a few blocks from the site, I’m thrilled to see this magnificent, historic building anchoring such an important development in the heart of Marquette’s downtown,” said David Allen, chair of the Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. “I’m proud to see this partnership between the city of Marquette, the State of Michigan, and private developers coming closer to fruition.”

(Site contact: Abbie Hanson, EGLE Brownfield Coordinator, HansonA2@Michigan.gov, 906-202-1285)

10791 Main St. in Honor

Convenience Management LLC will construct a new gas station with five fuel pump islands and a 4,500-square-foot convenience store at 10791 Main St. in the village of Honor, after the site’s environmental contamination is remediated this year.

The property is contaminated with petroleum products from leaking underground storage tanks associated with a former service station. To address the contamination, EGLE awarded Benzie County a $650,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant. The grant will ensure the property is safe for reuse by supporting additional environmental investigation, removal of contaminated soils and treatment of contaminated groundwater.

“Benzie County is excited to partner with EGLE and Convenience Management LLC to remediate the existing property in our community, which is long overdue,” said Katie Zeits, Benzie County administrator. “We are committed to economic development and look forward to seeing this project come to fruition.”

The new gas station will be accessible 24/7 and offer an expanded selection of fuel grades to residents, commuters and visitors. The project is expected to create two full-time jobs, increase the village’s tax base and put an underutilized commercial property back into productive reuse.

(Site contact: Aaron Assmann, EGLE Brownfield Coordinator, AssmannA@Michigan.gov, 616-430-5275)