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EGLE awards $5.8 million to clean up four Detroit sites for redevelopment

Posted By: The Detroit News on January 5, 2023.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

Four contaminated properties in Detroit, including the former American Motors Corp. headquarters site, will receive financial help for cleanup after the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy approved $5.8 million in brownfield grants, loans and tax increment financing.

The department announced Thursday the approval of $2.8 million in brownfield grants and loans and slightly more than $3 million in tax increment financing.

The four projects in Detroit include plans to transform the former AMC headquarters into a light manufacturing facility; a new American Indian community health and wellness complex; two new mixed-use buildings for housing and supportive services, and an affordable housing redevelopment.

“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,” EGLE officials said in a statement Thursday. “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.”

According to the state, the Detroit Brownfield Authority plans to use a $1 million EGLE brownfield grant to address contamination at the former AMC headquarters at 14250 Plymouth Ave.

NorthPoint Development’s $72 million project includes demolishing the existing blighted building to construct a 860,000-square-foot light manufacturing facility. The grant will cover the installation of a ventilation system beneath the manufacturing building to prevent potential exposure to residual contamination, EGLE said.

EGLE also approved slightly more than $3 million in brownfield tax increment financing for environmental costs not covered under the grant.

In southwest Detroit, the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority plans to use a $1 million EGLE brownfield grant for clean-up activities, including removal and disposal of contaminated soil at 5800-5840 Michigan Ave. The site was previously used as a vulcanizing operation, gasoline dispensing station, photo shop, dry cleaner and greenhouse, according to EGLE.

Southwest Housing Solutions Corporation plans to construct two new mixed-use buildings at the site with 90 apartments once cleanup is complete.

“The DBRA is pleased to assist with this critical grant which will assist Southwest Housing Solutions Corporation transform an entire block of contaminated land that has sat vacant for decades into a new development that will provide much-needed deeply affordable housing,” DBRA Director Brian Vosburg said in a statement Thursday.

The city will use a $450,000 EGLE brownfield redevelopment grant to prepare for a residential redevelopment project in the Piety Hill neighborhood, which sits just north of the New Center area. According to EGLE, the site has metals and chlorinated compounds in soil, most likely from contaminated fill material and an adjacent former dry cleaner.

The project is part of Central Detroit Christian Community Development’s $13 million redevelopment project that will renovate an apartment building and construct 16 duplexes throughout Piety Hill.

“This funding will be used to prevent exposure to hazardous substances and address environmental conditions for a much-needed affordable housing redevelopment in the Piety Hill neighborhood,” David Bell, director of the Detroit Buildings, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department, said in a statement.

BSEED will use a $350,000 EGLE brownfield grant to help nonprofit American Indian Health and Family Services build a community health and wellness complex at 4559 and 4567 Wesson St. The complex will provide free medical services to enrolled tribal members and their families. A green space at the complex will have gardens, play areas and Pow Wow gatherings.

Cleanup will include the removal of at least one underground storage tank and contaminated soil, according to EGLE. The site will also receive a ventilation system beneath the future building.

Bell said: “This community-building project will help create a safer, healthier, cleaner Detroit and provide expanding services to the American Indian/Alaska Native community and other underserved individuals in the greater Detroit area.”

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