On November 21, 2022, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) awarded $2.4 million in brownfield grants and loans for the redevelopment of contaminated properties to help revitalize communities in Mid-Michigan.
Overall, in 2022 EGLE will provide $20.7 million in brownfield funding to 67 projects statewide.
The plans include a senior and multi-family affordable housing development in the Stadium District of Lansing; workforce and affordable housing near the Kalamazoo River; and a mixed-use, live-work redevelopment project in Kalamazoo.
I (Storm Cunningham) am very happy to see this focus on revitalizing Kalamazoo: I fell in love with this impressive city (and its great beer) during my work there for the Kalamazoo County Land Bank. I wrote about some of their excellent projects in my 2020 book, RECONOMICS: The Path To Resilient Prosperity.
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 revitalization and well-paid 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.
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.
Housing development along Kalamazoo River
River Caddis Development LLC, in partnership with Standard Communities, is poised to build nearly 310,000 square feet of housing, community amenities and a Live/Work facility that continues Kalamazoo’s efforts to breathe new life into the city.
The city of Kalamazoo Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use a $1 million EGLE brownfield grant to make the property safe for reuse.
The $55,000,000 project along the Kalamazoo River on the city’s north side, will consist of 222 apartments within two four-story buildings, a leasing center with additional tenant amenities, a four unit live-work facility, and pedestrian connections to the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail.
The redevelopment will include a mixture of market rate, affordable and workforce housing units.
“The planning and execution of this project has been over three years in the making, and we are eager to begin the work that both cleans this site and returns it as a significant driver in the economic cog of this local community,” said Kevin McGraw, president of River Caddis Development.
“We are excited that our development will provide a unique sense of community to our residents while providing much needed workforce and affordable housing for the city of Kalamazoo,” said Robert Koerner, chief investment officer of Standard Communities.
The nearly 8-acre property located at the southeast intersection of Harrison Street and Gull Road was evaluated for contamination with an EGLE-funded brownfield site assessment.
The assessment identified petroleum and metals compounds typically associated with the site’s current use in heat-treating and former uses as a foundry, storage yard and machine shop.
The city of Kalamazoo Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use the EGLE grant to demolish and remove the Precision Heat Treating facility; install a new soil barrier; manage ground and surface water during the development process, including placing a lining under the stormwater detention ponds; and install a ventilation system beneath the future buildings to prevent potential exposure to any residual contamination.
The addition of much needed housing will help reinvigorate an area of the city that already has benefitted from several successful brownfield projects. The redevelopment will create nine new jobs when complete. Remediation of the site’s environmental contamination will begin next spring.
315 E. Frank St. in Kalamazoo
The city of Kalamazoo Economic Development Corporation will use a $630,000 EGLE brownfield grant to help make way for a new mixed-use, live-work development at 315 E. Frank St. in Kalamazoo.
The project led by Bogan Developments will breathe new life into a property that has been vacant since 1980.
The Northside Neighborhood redevelopment will create a community focused around a youth development center and community garden.
“My team and I are extremely excited that EGLE awarded the city a grant to help support the redevelopment of 315 E. Frank St.,” said Jamauri Bogan, CEO of Bogan Developments. “We look forward to bringing affordable housing and childcare to the Northside of Kalamazoo. The best is yet to come.”
The property was used for industrial purposes from 1926 until 1980, resulting in contamination of the soil and groundwater.
The city of Kalamazoo Economic Development Corporation will use the EGLE grant to address the contamination and make the property safe for reuse.
The funding will help to remove contaminated soil, install a clean-soil barrier, and provide a ventilation system beneath the buildings to prevent exposure to residual contamination.
Lansing Stadium District Housing Development
The Lansing Economic Development Corporation plans to use $ 1million in brownfield grants to build a senior and multi-family affordable housing development in the Stadium District at 500 Cedar Street in Lansing.
Of this funding, $200,000 comes from the 2023 brownfield grant budget. The new development will create three new jobs after the site’s environmental contamination is safely managed.
This project supports the need for affordable housing in downtown Lansing and will increase downtown retail traffic with the new residents’ occupancy.
“MVAH Partners and the City of Lansing are grateful to receive an EGLE Brownfield Redevelopment Grant that will act as a crucial gap filler in the development of Stadium North Lofts and Stadium North Senior Lofts,” said Pete Schwiegeraht, senior vice president of development – Midwest region, for MVAH Partners. “This funding will help assure the creation 132 multi-generational affordable housing units desperately needed in Lansing.”
Lansing Economic Development Corporation will use the grant to remove contaminated soil, demolish buildings, and install ventilation systems beneath the proposed buildings to prevent exposure to residual subsurface contamination.
Soil and groundwater were contaminated by the historical property uses including a leaking gasoline underground storage tank, a chrome plater, automotive junkyard, tool and welding shop, and automotive repair.
Featured image of Kalamazoo project is courtesy of River Caddis Development.