Redeveloping brownfields will save money and precious greenfields
The push to 'Go Green' is not just about energy conservation. Public opposition to greenfield development
has led to increased restrictions, forcing businesses and venture capitalists to seek other options.
Recent changes in environmental regulation have made brownfield redevelopment a very attractive
alternative for developers and entrepreneurs, not to mention the Jackson community has nationally
recognized success in Brownfield developments.
Brownfield site redevelopment can provide companies an opportunity to build a tax base, rejuvenate
decaying infrastructure, establish a good rapport with the community and revitalize depressed urban
There are also many monetary benefits to re-utilizing brownfields:
Tax incentives available on residential, commercial, and industrial new uses
Limited environmental liability for clean up actions on future owners
Public sector assessment and clean up cost coverage
Infrastructure (utilities, water, etc.) already in place at many brownfields
Self-satisfaction from saving green space and revitalizing property
Brownfield redevelopment projects are prevalent all across the country and here in Michigan. Here are a few
successful projects in Jackson County:
Great Lakes Industry (GLI)/Fern Ventures purchased the neighboring former Harvard Industries
building, which ceased operations in 2002. GLI experienced business growth that required
expansion of their operations beyond their existing 48,000 square foot facility. Physical
limitations of their existing parcel and building required acquisition of the adjacent 1999
Wildwood Avenue parcel in Blackman Charter Township to redevelop the idled, vacant 216,700
square foot industrial building to allow expansion of their operations. The 1999 Wildwood
Avenue site has been a high-priority, targeted Brownfield redevelopment site for a number of
years. To assist with financing the project, there is an approved Brownfield Plan in place. As
a result, the company invested $4 Million, will retain 62 jobs and create 10 new jobs.
In addition, a new industrial/commercial three-acre parcel, adjacent to the redevelopment
project is for sale for development.
In May 2014, Klavon's Pizzeria and Pub opened a second restaurant, which is located in
Vandercook Lake. To prepare the site; an old, deteriorating building was demolished and a new
8,500 square foot restaurant, with a huge parking lot, was constructed on the property at 1359
and 1361 Old McDevitt in Summit Township. With the assistance of U.S. EPA Assessment Grant
funds, the JCBRA Board provided funding for a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA),
Baseline Environmental Assessment, Due Care Plan, geophysical survey, asbestos survey, and
building demolition costs. In addition, there is an approved Brownfield Plan in place. As a
result, the company invested over $2 Million, and created 155 new jobs.
Stone Village Condominiums on Probert Road in Summit Township was developed in the 1880s with
construction of stone cattle barns on the property as part of the original agricultural
operation known as Bennett Farm. In the mid-1940s, the property was used for industrial
purposes, where Jaxon Wire Products operated at the site until 1982. In 2011, the property was
acquired by Bennett Holdings, LLC who made significant improvements, preserving the unique and
historic nature, and converted the buildings into to residential condominiums. As a result, the
estimated investment is $1.7 Million, with one unit totaling 7,000 square feet, and another
unit in progress. Over 160 construction jobs were created as a result of the project.
January 4, 2018March 1, 2018April 5, 2018May 3, 2018
JCBRA Board Meetings are held the first Thursday of each month at 7:30 a.m. Meetings are held in the Commission Chambers on the 5th floor at the County Tower Building at 120 W. Michigan Avenue in downtown Jackson. The next meeting is scheduled for June 7, 2018.