By Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has approved plans to clean up and redevelop three contaminated parcels of land in Ann Arbor.
The property at 303 N. Fifth Street, 312 Detroit Street and 314 Detroit Street used to be home to a gas station, auto repair shop and car wash. When finished it will be a five-story mixed-use building with 14 condominiums, 1,900 square feet of retail space as well as above-ground and underground parking. The development is estimated to generate $17 million in private investment and create much-needed housing in Ann Arbor. Future tenants will be within walking distance of businesses, entertainment and cultural opportunities offered by the city and the University of Michigan.
The property is contaminated with petroleum and an abandoned underground storage tank. The developer will use state brownfield incentives to remove and dispose of the tank and the contaminated soil. EGLE approved reimbursement for the developer of up to $1.7 million for the work needed to make the site safe to use. The reimbursement will come from Tax Increment Financing. That allows the increase in property tax revenue on the finished project to go to the developer until it has recouped its costs. The property currently has a taxable value of $304,296. That number is estimated to rise to $9.9 million once redevelopment is finished.
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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. 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. Overall, in 2022 EGLE provided $20.7 million in brownfield funding to 67 projects statewide.
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.