Brownfield Redevelopments in Wyoming, Dearborn, Ypsilanti, Lansing and Cadillac Bring 3,981 Jobs

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Projects expected to generate $77 million in new investment

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced state support for five brownfield redevelopments: the Orchard Park redevelopment in Wyoming anchored by Cabela’s outdoor store; a medical, commercial and residential project at the Michigan Avenue-Schaefer Road intersection in Dearborn; the historic Thompson Block commercial, retail and residential redevelopment in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town in Washtenaw County; demolition of the former Regent Inn on Lansing’s south side to make way for a NuUnion branch office development, and in mid Michigan, demolition of Chemical Bank in downtown Cadillac (Wexford County) to be replaced by new retail and commercial banking operations. The projects will benefit from assistance provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

“These projects will create new commercial and residential activity, and new jobs on sites that up until now have failed to grow the local economy,” Granholm said. “Removing blight inspires new investment, new jobs and a better quality of life in communities around the state.”  

The redevelopment projects announced today:

The OrchardPark in Wyoming (Kent County) anchored by a Cabela’s outdoor store will be supported by $39.2 million in local and school tax capture approved for developer Walker Orchard Land Partners LLC. The site is a former apple orchard at I-96 and Walker Avenue NW. Upon completion, the $400-million, two-phase project starting with construction of a 125,000-square feet Cabela’s store will comprise 1.4 million square feet of retail and 77,600 square feet of restaurant space, 135,000 square of office space, 325 apartments, 114 town homes and condos, a 150-room hotel and water park/resort hotel with 160 rooms. Creation of 3,668 jobs is anticipated.

In Dearborn, developer REDICO Holdings LLC will use a state brownfield tax credit valued at $9.6 million and state and local tax capture totaling $14.2 million for redevelopment of the Montgomery Ward Store at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Schaefer Road in East Dearborn. The three-story former department store, vacant since 2001, will be demolished and replaced by a mixed-use development including three new structures totaling 275,000 square feet with a medical office building, a retail/office building, 96 senior apartments and a six-level parking deck. The $68 million project is expected to create 206 new jobs.

State tax capture valued at $185,264 combined with a local OPRA (Obsolete Properties Rehabilitation Act) tax abatement will assist with the historic Thompson Block redevelopment in Ypsilanti. The project has support from both the City of Ypsilanti and the Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. The $4 million renovation of a three-story building will consist of a mix of commercial and retail space and 16 residential lofts and is expected to support creation of 100 new jobs. Maintenance of the historic architecture and design of the 34,000-square-foot structure, vacant for more than 20 years, is another step forward in the revival of the historic Depot Town area of the city.

The City of Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use $392,922 in state and local tax capture to demolish and redevelop the former Regent Inn hotel on S. Pennsylvania Avenue in Lansing. Demolition of existing structures consisting of 35,000 square feet will make way for construction of a 5,000-square-foot office which will be used to relocate the nearby NuUnion credit union branch office. The $3.4 million project will create five new jobs. 

State and local tax capture valuedat $255,750 will be used by developer Chemical Bank to support demolition of a vacant structure in downtown Cadillac (Wexford County) and construction of a new 5,000-square-foot building for retail and commercial banking operations. The $1.2 million project located on the former YMCA, Harris Milling and Brasseur sites is expected to create two new jobs.

“The state’s brownfield incentives make it possible for communities to revitalize themselves,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “These are outstanding examples of how vacant and rundown properties can be the restored as centers of residential and commercial activity.”   

The brownfield transformations are among 20 economic development projects the Governor announced today. In all, they are expected to create and retain 9,495 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.

"Downtowns that are vibrant places retain and attract 21st century talent that want to live, work and invest in Michigan" Interim Executive Director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Keith Molin said. "MSHDA is committed to helping downtowns, both large and small, become vibrant places."

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 257,000 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

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.