Michigan considers a “fail-safe” new method for supporting brownfields redevelopment

Legislation designed to give developers and municipalities a new resource for repurposing and reusing abandoned buildings, and remediating contaminated sites and other brownfield properties across the state was reintroduced in the Michigan Senate in February of 2017.

Building on the current Brownfield TIF Act (TIF = Tax Increment Financing), the legislation would allow municipalities to choose one project per year to be eligible for a brownfield redevelopment.

The state doesn’t put up any money up front, there’s no exposure to taxpayers. It’s only a promise by the state to allow developers to capture the taxes once it opens. So if the location never opens, or if it opens and then fails, because the repayment would be coming from state income tax, the developer wouldn’t (see those funds),” said Dan Austin, senior account executive at Van Dyke Horn Public Relations and spokesman for MIThrive said.

MThrive (Michigan Thrive) is coalition of leading Michigan economic development organizations, cities and chambers that support legislation to unleash $5 billion in major brownfield redevelopment projects to transform cities across the state.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said his city has a brownfield know as the “Suburban Softball” property. “This particular property is a dirty, idle site and it’s been that way for many years. If there’s a chance it could be recreated and come alive, create jobs and investment, that would improve quality of life here…If this fallow piece of dirty property could be transformed then I’m completely interested,” Barnett explained.

Image via Google Maps.

See Oakland Press article by Natalie Broda.

See MThrive website.

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