©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Brownfield Redevelopment Projects to Aid Urban Revitalization

Thursday, June 13, 2002

Susan Shafer

More than $70 million in new investment spurred

Governor John Engler announced today that four major brownfields in Benton Harbor and Detroit are on the road to redevelopment due to assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.The projects are expected to generate more than $70 million in private investment and help redevelop long blighted urban areas of these cities.

“These brownfield redevelopment projects are the latest examples of the many successes of Michigan’s urban revitalization efforts,” said Governor Engler.“These incentives will facilitate private investment in obsolete properties that have been underutilized for years. The private investment will help further revitalize the urban cores of Benton Harbor and Detroit.”

The Federal Reserve Bank will build a new 260,000 square foot office and processing center in the city of Detroit.The property is located just east of I-75 bounded by Warren, Russell and Forrest Avenues.The city of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority was approved to receive the benefits of tax increment financing in the amount of $3.2 million to prepare the contaminated site for redevelopment.Pre-development activities will include relocation of multiple utility service lines, removal of a deteriorated parking lot and adding an additional turn lane and sidewalks.The total investment in the project is expected to reach $65 million.

The Fidelity Building located in the heart of Benton Harbor has been vacant for more than 30 years.The Benton Harbor Brownfield Development Authority was granted $267,500 in brownfield tax increment financing to prepare the historic building for rehabilitation into senior housing.Some of the pre-development activities include demolition and clearing the property of possible lead and asbestos contaminates.The total investment required to bring the building back to a useful condition is expected to exceed $5.2 million.

The Benton Hotel in Benton Harbor’s business district will also be redeveloped.The project received approval for $307,500 in brownfield tax increment financing to help prepare the site for redevelopment.The site pre- development will include reconstructing an adjacent parking lot and other pre-development activities to allow for further stabilization of the original building.The primary developer, Cornerstone Alliance, will make additional renovations to make the building attractive to private enterprise.

The former senior center at 53 West Wall Street in Benton Harbor will benefit from $50,000 in brownfield tax increment financing.Public parking facilities are needed at the Benton Harbor site to accommodate the new location of Integrity Design, Inc.Integrity Design, Inc. is a mechanical engineering and design firm specializing in automated assembly machine design.The company has moved from a facility in St. Joseph to make room for a major expansion of Whirlpool.

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.