Start brown. Save green.
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 areas.
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.