Detroit and Muskegon Improvements Approved for Brownfield Aid

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New car dealerships for Muskegon, neighborhood retail in Detroit

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is supporting redevelopment of a former Detroit police station into a neighborhood shopping center, and in Muskegon the construction of a 19-acre auto-related retail and service business complex. The projects, supported by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), are expected to generate more than $20 million in capital investment and creation of 96 jobs in the two communities.   

“Dynamic and vibrant communities are magnets for attracting and retaining workers in Michigan,” Granholm said. “Revitalizing these properties creates the catalyst for new investment, job creation and renewed commercial activity.”

Brownfield projects announced in 2007 led to creation of more than 8,900 jobs and generated $2.3 billion private investment in 43 projects around the state. The projects announced today:

State and local tax capture valued at $1.3 million will support environmental clean up and redevelopment of 19 acres on the east and west sides of Henry Street in Muskegon by Betten Automotive Group to make way for the creation of nearly 113,000 square feet of commercial space. An existing building on a nine-acre site on the east side will be renovated and expanded from 30,000 square feet to 68,000 square feet. On the remaining acreage on the west side, construction of two new auto dealership stores will replace the current used car sales office. The project will feature sustainable development elements including LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, improved storm water managementand pedestrian-friendly streetscape. The $15 million project is expected to create 36 new jobs.

Developer Grand River and Six Mile LLC will use $631,600 in local and school capture and private investmentof $5.5 million to redevelop the former Detroit Police 8th precinct station across from Redford High School. Two structures will be built on the site comprising 23,800 square feet of retail and commercial space. The project will lead to creation of 60 full-time jobs.

“We are encouraged when communities take advantage of brownfield incentives to tackle improvements they could not otherwise afford,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “Restoring underutilized properties to productive use generates new resources for further investment.”

The two redevelopmentprojects are among 11 economic development projects the governor announced today expected to create and retain a total of 3,901 Michigan 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.

“Michigan has exceptional cities all across the state, this initiative will help preserve and rehab those cities, drawing more residents and businesses to our state,” said Keith Molin MSHDA interim executive director. “MSHDA is happy to be a part of an initiative that is restoring the downtowns that define Michigan.”

In her 2008 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of creating opportunity in the changing world of the 21st century. Since January 2005, the Governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 241,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC. 

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 financedthrough 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.