Michigan Grants $3.6M for Four Detroit Redevelopment Projects

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has awarded $3.6 million in brownfield grants to four projects for redevelopment of contaminated properties in Detroit.
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Excavator dig trench at forest area on amazing sunset background
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has granted $3.6 million to clean up ground contamination and redevelop four sites in Detroit. // Stock Photo

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has awarded $3.6 million in brownfield grants to four projects for redevelopment of contaminated properties in Detroit.

Plans for redevelopment include a multi-tenant industrial facility at the former Cadillac Stamping Plant — which will contain a new Lear EV parts factory — on Conner Avenue and Gratiot. Also included are a residential/commercial development on West McNichols, the rehabilitation of two historic residences on the corner of East Jefferson Avenue and Van Dyke Avenue, and a 22-acre park along the Detroit River.

“A century of industrial and commercial operations at Cadillac Stamping properties left a legacy of contamination,” says Liesl Clark, director of EGLE. “Investing in this project, and redeveloping brownfields, ensures a healthier environment for all of us. It also supports a vibrant economy in Detroit, and beyond.”

When brownfields — vacant or abandoned properties with known or suspected contamination — are redeveloped, property value of the redeveloped and surrounding properties increase.

Construction recently began at the M3 Commerce Center, located at 9501 Conner Ave., which is a 684,000 square-foot multi-tenant industrial facility. EGLE awarded a $1 million Renew Michigan Grant to the Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority as has approved of roughly $6.6 million in tax increment financing.

Various plant properties were contaminated due to various historical commercial and industrial operations spanning from the early 1900s to the early 2000s. Some of these potential sources include pressing and metal stamping, electro-plating, dipping, chemical treating, laundry and dry-cleaning, air and liquid filter, paint by-products, polypropylene material recycling, former railroad storage and operations, and coal storage.

The cause of soil and groundwater contamination that pose a vapor intrusion risk to the proposed new building. The grant will fund the design and installation of a vapor mitigation system and contaminant resistant stormwater detention pond liners.

The project is expected to bring a capital investment of $47.9 million. The current state equalized value of the property is $228,340 and expected to increase to $13.6 million following redevelopment. New construction is expected to be complete by the fall of 2022.

A former gas station and two neighboring vacant buildings located at 7303 W. McNichols Rd. are set for redevelopment with assistance from a $1 million Refined Petroleum Grant awarded to the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. Redevelopment plans include a mixed-use apartment building with first floor commercial and retail space.

Known environmental contamination includes petroleum-related compounds and asbestos. EGLE grant funding will be used to remove orphaned underground storage tanks, and associated soil contamination; provide clean backfill; asbestos abatement; blighted building demolition; and additional assessment.

The space will be a 38,000 square-foot mixed-use building will feature 38 residential units and four commercial units, with an investment of nearly $11 million. It is expected to create 25 jobs. The current state equalized value of the property is $70,000 and is expected to increase to $1.5 million following redevelopment.  Construction should begin in the fall of 2021 and be completed in the summer of 2023.

The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park, being constructed by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, was awarded a $1 million EGLE grant to the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority.

The redevelopment is aimed at created a 22-acre urban green space along the Detroit River. The project also will involve a substantial habitat restoration component, including the conversion of a large portion of the river’s edge from aging steel and wooden bulkheads to a soft shoreline.

Once complete, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park will serve as a significant addition to the Detroit Riverfront, attracting both national and international visitors and providing a boost to the local economy. The project brings an investment of $77 million and will create four new full-time and 10 new part-time jobs. Construction is expected to be complete by summer 2022.

The redevelopment of 7891 and 7903 E. Jefferson Ave. will be assisted by a $600,000 EGLE grant. It includes renovation of the two blighted buildings and ensure the site — which will hold new residential apartments and commercial space — is safe for reuse from existing contamination.

Soil and groundwater at the site were contaminated by gasoline from a leaking underground storage tank and historical use of the property as a dry cleaner and automobile repair shop.

The EGLE grant will pay for environmental costs, including removal of underground storage tanks, and installation of barriers and ventilation systems to prevent exposure to subsurface contamination.

The redevelopment will result in 36 residential units, three commercial units for retail, and restaurant and gallery use.

The project will include the rehabilitation of two historic residences including the “White Building/Aniwa Club,” which functioned from 1929 to 1931 as one of Detroit’s most exclusive Prohibition-era speakeasies.  Two additional commercial structures will be rehabilitated, and an existing parking structure demolished.

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