March 28, 2019
The city of Flint will receive close to a half million dollars to aid in protecting residents of the city’s Clark Commons neighborhood from exposure to contamination. The $499,995 Brownfield grant was awarded to the city by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to aid in the safe reuse of properties along Saginaw Street on the city's south side.
The grant supports the city’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, which will bring new housing and retail to the community. DEQ is part of the effort, which also includes the city of Flint, Norstar Development USA, L.P., the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), US Department of Housing and Urban Development to safely reuse 28 parcels on Flint’s south side. The grant that will protect residents in the Clark Commons neighborhood from exposure to contamination and help revitalize an area that has suffered significant decline and blight for some time.
Clark Commons is part of the community-driven South Flint Community Plan, which focuses on developing mixed-income housing and strengthening the main commercial corridor along Saginaw Street. During Clark Commons Phase I, 62 new housing units and at least 1 new commercial building will be built across 28 vacant parcels. During redevelopment planning, an environmental investigation showed soil and groundwater contamination on some of the Clark Commons Phase I parcels. No exact cause is known, but contamination was likely left by businesses located along Saginaw Street over the last 100 or more years, including a printer, warehouse, gas station, automotive service / repair/ painting, furniture repair, dry cleaning, blacksmith, and tin shop. The contaminants in soil and groundwater must be addressed before the proposed redevelopment can move ahead. The MDEQ grant will pay for more investigation, contaminated soil management, and barriers to prevent hazardous vapors from entering the new homes.
The MDEQ Brownfield Redevelopment Grant, along with support from other partners, will help protect residents and revitalize this neighborhood near downtown Flint. Watch for updates at www.michigan.gov/deqbrownfields.
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