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EGLE grants to help turn two contaminated sites into job-creating business incubators

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is awarding brownfield funding to projects that will create business incubators in Oakland and St. Clair counties. Incubators are places where new companies and new ideas can get off the ground and are crucial engines to economic growth. These two projects are expected to draw a combined $8.6 million in capital investment and up to 140 new jobs.

Corsaut Building Ventures, 15101 West 11 Mile Road, Oak Park

EGLE awarded a $900,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant to help deal with contamination linked to the property’s former light industrial and well-drilling operations. Investigations found PCBs, chemical compounds, and metals in the soil. The grant will cover further site investigations, soil removal and disposal, some demolition work, and possible groundwater pumping and disposal. The Oak Park Brownfield Redevelopment Authority approved Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in the total amount of $890,000 to reimburse the developer for other costs. TIF allows the increase in property tax revenue on the finished project to go to the developer until it has recouped eligible brownfield costs.

The Corsaut Building Ventures’ plan calls for one existing building to be renovated and two new buildings totaling approximately 13,500 square feet. The developer predicts the project will create 12 to 15 new full-time jobs. Corsaut Building Ventures plans to invest $3.5 million into the development. Oak Park says the incubator will encourage entrepreneurial growth and enhance the 11 Mile Road corridor near I-696 when work is finished in May 2024.

St. Clair County Economic Development Alliance Business Center, 1500 3rd Street, Port Huron

EGLE awarded this incubator project a $750,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant. The site hosted a machine shop, coal company, and railroad operations, but has been vacant since 1999. The property is contaminated with metals and solvents. The grant money will pay for investigations to determine which soil is contaminated and if a vapor mitigation system is necessary. It will also pay for the system if one is needed.

The redevelopment plans call for a 12,000-square-foot building that will be home to the county’s business incubator. The 20 companies in the current incubator are expected to move to the new Business Center. The project is expected to generate $5.1 million in capital investment and 125 new jobs. St. Clair County is contributing a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant and a $20,000 site assessment grant. The new St. Clair County Economic Development Alliance Business Center is scheduled to be finished by August 2024.

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. Overall, in 2022 EGLE provided $20.7 million in brownfield funding to 67 projects statewide.

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.

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