Redevelopments Target Two Brownfield Sites in Detroit

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Projects will generate $20.4 million in new investment, over 180 new jobs

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced plans for two brownfield redevelopments in Detroit that will attract more than $20.4 million in new investment and create 188 new jobs. The projects include a new neighborhood commercial center near the Warren-Livernois intersection on the city’s southwest side and a five-story mixed-use commercial building at the heart of the Wayne State University campus on Cass Avenue in Midtown. The projects will benefit from assistance provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

“These projects will help revitalize two neighborhoods, making them more attractive places for new investment, renewed commercial activity and job opportunity,” Granholm said.

Brownfield projects supported by state tax credit incentives have led to creation of about 13,000 jobs and 8,000 housing units in Detroit since 2001. The credits assist redevelopment of problem properties around the state that communities could not otherwise afford, enhancing livability and the ability to attract new investment. The projects announced today:

State and local tax capture valued at $1.8 million will be used to support demolition of severely blighted and abandoned industrial and commercial buildings on 16 acres near the corner of Warren and Livernois in southwest Detroit. The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will support construction of an 85,000- to 90,000-square-foot neighborhood commercial center for grocery and department stores and other commercial uses. The project will create 150 new jobs and generate $7.4 million in capital investment.

A five-story mixed-use commercial structurehousing 10,000 square feet of retail space will rise on Cass Avenue near Warren at the heart of the Wayne State University campus in Midtown Detroit, formerly a gas station site. The Detroit Brownfield Development Authority will use local tax capture of $429,998 to support the project which will create 64 residential suites in the upper four stories and 26 enclosed parking spaces. Total investment of $13 million is projected with 33 jobs created.

“Detroit is using Michigan’s brownfield program to best advantage for neighborhood redevelopment,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “Everybody benefits.” 

The Detroit brownfield redevelopments are among 10 economic development projects announced today expected to create a total of 2,051 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.

“The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the City of Detroit are proud to include these projects in their inventory of redeveloped brownfield sites in Detroit,” Detroit Economic Growth Corporation Vice President Art Papapanos said. “In particular, the Metro Plaza project and 4830 Cass project address critical retail and housing development needs in Detroit.”

In her 2008 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a leader in creating opportunity in the changing world of the 21st century. Since January 2005 the governor and MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 237,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.

“MSHDA is proud to partner with the MEDC and local communities to redevelop these downtown properties into projects that will help attract 21st century jobs and talent to Michigan,” MSHDA Interim Executive Director Keith Molin said. “These partnerships go a long way in not only helping revitalize traditional downtowns, but also in making our downtowns a more vibrant place to live, work, and invest.

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

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.