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$5.8 million in EGLE brownfield funding to help redevelop contaminated sites in city of Detroit

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has awarded $2.8 million in brownfield grants and loans for redevelopment of four contaminated properties in city of Detroit, and approved just over $3 million in brownfield tax increment financing for related environmental costs. Overall, in 2022 EGLE provided $20.7 million in brownfield funding to 67 projects statewide.

Plans for the projects include transforming the former American Motor Company (AMC) headquarters into a light manufacturing facility, construction of two new mixed-use buildings for housing and supportive services, an affordable housing redevelopment, and a new American Indian community health and wellness complex.

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. Redevelopment of brownfields – vacant or abandoned properties with known or suspected contamination – increases property values both on the revitalized site 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.

Former AMC headquarters in Detroit

The Detroit Brownfield Authority plans to use a $1 million EGLE brownfield grant to address environmental contamination at the former AMC headquarters property and make way for a new 860,000-square-foot light manufacturing facility. NorthPoint Development will demolish the existing blighted building at 14250 Plymouth Ave.

The soils on site are contaminated from years of historic manufacturing operations, leaking underground storage tanks, and debris that has been left in place by a previous owner.

The grant will be used to install a ventilation system beneath the future large-scale light manufacturing building to prevent potential exposure to any residual contamination. In addition to grant funding, EGLE also approved just over $3 million in brownfield tax increment financing for environmental costs not covered under the grant.

This $72 million development by NorthPoint will return the former manufacturing hub to productive reuse and create 350 to 400 new jobs in the city of Detroit.

(EGLE site contact: Dan Gough, Brownfield Coordinator, GoughD1@Michigan.gov, 517-281-8253)

5800-5840 Michigan Avenue in Detroit

Southwest Housing Solutions Corporation will build two new mixed-use buildings at 5800-5840 Michigan Avenue in Detroit with a combined 90 apartments after the site’s environmental contamination is remediated.

The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (DBRA) will use a $1 million EGLE brownfield grant for environmental activities including the removal and proper disposal of contaminated soil.

“The DBRA is pleased to assist with this critical grant which will assist Southwest Housing Solutions Corporation transform an entire block of contaminated land that has sat vacant for decades into a new development that will provide much-needed deeply affordable housing,” said DBRA Director Brian Vosburg.

Soil on the property is contaminated as a result of the historic uses as a vulcanizing operation, gasoline dispensing station, dry cleaner, photo shop and greenhouse.

This development will provide low-income housing and supportive services to the community, including mental health, addiction services, basic primary care and crisis services.

(EGLE site contact: Sarah Venner, Brownfield Coordinator, VennerS@Michigan.gov, 586-295-2225 DEGC contact: Margarita Barry, Director of Marketing & Communications, Detroit Economic Growth Corp., MBarry@DECG.org, 313-744-2841)

Piety Hill neighborhood

As part of a residential redevelopment project in the Piety Hill neighborhood, the city of Detroit will use a $450,000 EGLE brownfield redevelopment grant to address existing contamination and make several vacant and underutilized parcels safe for reuse.

Metals and chlorinated compounds in soil, likely attributable to the use of contaminated fill material and an adjacent former dry cleaner, have complicated the redevelopment of the parcels to date. The EGLE grant will help to mitigate potential risks related to the observed contamination by supporting environmental costs and abatement necessary for reuse. Specifically, grant funds will support the transport and disposal of contaminated soil and the installation of a ventilation system beneath an existing structure to prevent potential exposure to any remaining contaminated soils and their associated vapors.

“The city of Detroit greatly appreciates the partnership with EGLE in providing $450,000 in cleanup funding for the Central Detroit Christian’s (CDC) affordable housing redevelopment, Piety Hill II; this funding will be used to prevent exposure to hazardous substances and address environmental conditions for a much-needed affordable housing redevelopment in the Piety Hill neighborhood,” said David Bell, director of the Detroit Buildings, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department.

The project is part of a larger residential infill redevelopment project spearheaded by CDC Community Development that will result in the renovation of an existing apartment building and the new construction of 16 duplexes throughout Piety Hill. It is anticipated that the $13 million redevelopment project will provide affordable housing for city residents, create two full-time jobs, and increase the taxable value of the parcels by $3.2 million.

(EGLE site contact: Dan Gough, Brownfield Coordinator, GoughD1@Michigan.gov, 517-281-8253)

American Indian Health and Family Services

American Indian Health and Family Services (AIHFS), a non-profit organization and Federally Qualified Health Center, will build a new a community health and wellness complex at 4559 and 4567 Wesson Street, Detroit, with assistance from a $350,000 EGLE brownfield grant.

The city of Detroit’s Building, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department will use the grant to further assess and delineate contamination and remove at least one underground storage tank and associated contaminated soils. It also will fund installation of a ventilation system beneath the future building to prevent potential exposure to any residual contamination, if the removal of all contamination is not feasible.

“The city of Detroit greatly appreciates the partnership with EGLE who has provided $350,000 for cleanup funding for the New Facility for the American Indian Health and Family Services (AIHFS); this community-building project will help create a safer, healthier, cleaner Detroit and provide expanding services to the American Indian/Alaska Native community and other underserved individuals in the greater Detroit area,” said David Bell, director of the Detroit Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department.

According to data collected from the property, soil and groundwater were contaminated by gasoline from a leaking underground storage tank and the previous industrial operations that occurred at the property.

The AIHFS complex will provide free medical services to enrolled tribal members and their kin in a severely medically underserved area. Services at this new location will include dental, behavioral health, infant, youth and community health. Traditional gardens, play areas, and Pow Wow gatherings will occupy the green space planned at the complex.

After the site’s environmental contamination is remediated the new facility will retain 47 jobs within the city and is expected to create 5 to 10 new jobs as a result of the expansion.

(EGLE site contact: Dan Gough, Brownfield Coordinator, GoughD1@Michigan.gov, 517-281-8253)