©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Brownfield Redevelopment Projects to Revitalize Eight Sites in Detroit, Dearborn

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bridget Beckman, MEDC
(517) 335-4590beckmanb1@michigan.org

Projects include $378 million in capital investment, 866 new jobs

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced seven brownfield redevelopment projects in Detroit and one in Dearborn that have the potential to create 866 jobs and involve over $378 million in capital investment. The redevelopments will benefit from assistance provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

“Creating vibrant Michigan cities like Detroit and Dearborn is important to our state’s economic transformation,” Granholm said. “Restoring blighted properties attracts new investment, jobs and a better quality of life in our community.”

The redevelopment projects announced today:

  • Argonaut Campus Developer LLC –The College for Creative Studies (CCS) will use a $10 million state brownfield tax credit and state and local tax capture valued at $11.2 million to transform the Argonaut Building located at 485 West Milwaukee Ave. in Detroit’s New Center into a mixed-use campus for art and design education. General Motors will donate the Argonaut Building to CCS for the redevelopment, which will house CCS’s new graduate programs, programs for middle and high school students and dormitory facilities for 261 students and studios. The development will include retail and office space for non-profit organizations and an incubator/accelerator for start-up businesses in design and creative industries. The project is expected to generate capital investment in excess of $120 million and create 200 new jobs.
  • FRBD LLC– The developer will use a $1.3 million state brownfield tax credit to convert the historic Federal Reserve Buildinglocated at 160 W. Fort St. in Detroit’s Central Business District into 84 one and two-bedroom apartments with retail and commercial space. The project is expected to generate more than $20.2 million in capital investment and create 12 new jobs.
  • Gardenview Estates– A state brownfield tax credit valued at $3.9 million will support Norstar Development USA in the initial stage of a multi-phase residential and mixed-use redevelopment of the former Herman Gardens Public Housing Complex at the corner of Joy Rd. and the Southfield Fwy. in northwest Detroit. The first 186 rental units will be completed in three phases over the next four to five years. This phase of the project supported by the brownfield credit is expected to generate more than $42.3 million in capital investment and createfive jobs. The overall plan approved by the Detroit Housing Commission is a $227.2 million mixed-use, mixed-income development consisting of 920 residential units, commercial/retail space, a central park and the recently completed NFL Boys and Girls Club.
  • Piquette Square and Southwest Housing Solutions– The developers will use a $1.7 million state brownfield tax credit to redevelop an industrial site on Piquette St. in Detroit that once housed the Studebaker Manufacturing Facility and the Detroit Artillery Armory. The project involves construction of a four-story building with 150 supportive housing units for homeless veterans and retail and commercial space. The project is expected to generate $20 million in capital investment and create 22 new jobs.
  • Tireman & Epworth Properties– The city of Detroit will utilize state and local tax capture valued at $753,000 to support the redevelopment of 7.3 acres at the corner of Tireman and Epworth streets in northwest Detroit.The project includes the demolition of two blighted buildings, the renovation of two viable ones and the removal of debris and contaminated soil to make way for the expansion of Parts Galore, an auto parts salvage business. The site will also house a new towing company to support its parent company’s operations throughout southeast Michigan. The project will generate $1.97 million in capital investment and create up to 25 new jobs.
  • Urban Development Company LLC –The developer will use a state brownfield tax credit valued at $1.5 million to transform the former Globe Trading Building and Detroit Dry Docks Engine Works on Atwater St. in Detroit north of the marina in Tri Centennial State Park into a mixed-use development with 64 new loft condos, 28 loft apartments, retail/commercial space and indoor parking. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has proposed locating a visitor’s center for the park in the building. The project is expected to generate $17 million in capital investment and create up to 75 new jobs.
  • NorthWoodward Garden Block Development– A state brownfield tax credit valued at $2.2 million will help the development group revitalize a blighted block on the west side of Woodward between Mack and Warren in Detroit. The project involves the restoration of the Garden Theatre and the BlueMoon Building. The theater will be returned to its original use and the Blue Moon will house a new restaurant. A new, three-story building will be constructed with retail and commercial space. Plans also call for a 300-space parking garage. The project will generate $28.7 million in capital investment and create more than 200 new jobs.
  • Dearborn Village Partners– A state brownfield tax credit valued at $9.1 million and state and local tax capture worth $46 million will support a multi-phased mixed-use development across 12 sites along Michigan Ave. between Howard and Military streets in Dearborn. The project will completely renovate one city block in the city’s downtown and involve the construction of mixed-use retail and housing, including two 10-story mid-rise condos and a tri-level 881-space parking deck. The project is expected to generate $125 million in capital investment and create 350 new jobs.The West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority is assisting the project with $42.5 million in tax capture for public infrastructure activities. 

“Michigan’s brownfield program continues to help communities around the state write new chapters in their remarkable turn-around stories,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said.

The redevelopments are among 14 economic development projects the Governor announced today. In all, they are expected to create a total of 2,851 jobs. Michigan brownfield programs provide incentives to invest in property that has been used for industrial, commercial or residential purposes and to keep that property in productive use or return it to a productive use. Brownfield incentives can be used for functionally obsolete, blighted, or contaminated property.

“Revitalization of these Brownfield sites is crucial to Michigan’s economic situation,” MSDHA Executive Director Michael R. DeVos said. “The jobs created through these projects will have a positive impact on the state, and help restore Michigan’s economy.”

In her 2007 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Since January 2005 the governor and MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 211,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC. 

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. For more information on the MEDC’s initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.MichiganBusiness.org. MSHDA is a quasi-state agency that provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve safe and decent affordable housing, engage in community economic development activities, and address homeless issues. MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds and notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. For more information on MSHDA programs and initiatives, visit the Web site at www.michigan.gov/mshda.

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