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EGLE grant to help create new, affordable housing in Detroit’s North Corktown neighborhood

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is awarding a $750,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant to a new housing and commercial redevelopment in Detroit’s North Corktown neighborhood. The Preserve on Ash project will cover three acres in the area around 3300 15th St. Current plans call for six new buildings with 100 mixed-income rental units and 5,600 square feet of commercial space.

The property, which is vacant now, was home to a dry cleaner, auto service center, gas station, and light manufacturing facility. Initial investigations found soil contaminated with metals, petroleum compounds, and chlorinated solvents. The EGLE grant will pay for transport and disposal of contaminated soil, and the installation of a vapor mitigation system in the new buildings.

The city considers this project an important part of its development plans for the Greater Corktown neighborhood, which is experiencing rapidly rising rents.

“The city of Detroit greatly appreciates the partnership with EGLE in providing $750,000 in cleanup funding for the Preserve on Ash redevelopment project,” said David Bell, director of Detroit’s Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department. “This funding will be used to prevent exposure to hazardous substances and address environmental conditions for a much-needed affordable housing and commercial space.”

The city is dedicating Community Development Block Grant funding to the project and is offering Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) of 4% of rents. PILOT is a way to encourage the development of low-income housing by allowing developers to pay a service fee instead of property taxes. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development is contributing a $2.8 million Choice Neighborhoods Grant. The city is working to secure other funding sources as well. Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2024 and be finished by the summer of 2025.

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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