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EGLE approves brownfield incentives to build new housing and retail development in Detroit
May 01, 2023
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has approved a reimbursement plan for environmental cleanup and management costs at a vacant and contaminated site in Detroit. Plans call for more than 300 new apartments as well as parking and retail space.
The City Club Apartments – Midtown project is planned for five parcels of land covering 2.4 acres in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood: 3510 and 3540 Woodward Avenue, 80 and 90 Mack Avenue, and 33 Eliot Street. Going back to the early 1900s those properties were home to auto garages, manufacturing, sheet metal shops, photo processing, restaurants, and a motel. All five parcels are currently vacant.
Baseline Environmental Assessments and initial investigations have found mercury, arsenic, and various chemical compounds in the soil. Investigators believe there could also be abandoned underground storage tanks (UST) on the property.
EGLE has approved reimbursement to the developer for the excavation and disposal of contaminated soil and groundwater, disposal of solid waste, the removal of any USTs found on the property, as well as oversight work. The reimbursement of up to $2.1 million will come from Tax Increment Financing (TIF). TIF allows the increase in property tax revenue on the finished project to be used to reimburse the developer until it has recouped the cost of eligible environmental activities. The property currently has a taxable value of $2.9 million. The developer expects that to rise to more than $17 million once the project is finished.
Redevelopment plans call for City Club Apartments – Midtown to have three buildings: a 16-story apartment building, a six-story building with apartments and retail space, and a single-story retailer. The development will have a total of 344 apartments ranging from studio to three-bedroom. Plans also call for multiple small parks and an outdoor art park. The work plan predicts the project will create 130 construction jobs and 60 full-time equivalent jobs for daily management and operations at the development. The developer expects to be finished with construction in November of 2024.
Overall, in 2022 EGLE provided $20,700,000 in brownfield funding to 67 projects statewide. 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.