Lansing RACER Trust Plant 6

Michigan awards $87 million to rehab brownfield, greenfield sites

February 14, 2024

The state of Michigan will spend $87.5 million to clean up and prepare 18 sites statewide to bolster their attractiveness and add to the state’s portfolio of investment-ready sites.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently announced a slate of awards that will help improve 10 brownfield sites – former industrial or commercial sites contaminated by hazardous materials. Conversely, the remaining eight sites are greenfields – areas that have not been developed, typically located away from urban settings.

“These grants will fund 18 projects across Michigan, preparing us to win more manufacturing projects creating thousands of good-paying jobs,” she said in a release.

Michigan’s Strategic Site Readiness Program (SSRP) provided the awards. State lawmakers created the program in 2021 and backed it with $100 million to support environmental remediation, construction and other site improvements to attract and promote investment in the state.

Big-ticket brownfield awards include nearly $19 million to the city of Lansing to clean up the Lansing RACER Trust Plant 6. The 57-acre site, once home to the General Motors Fisher Body plant, is “poised to be one of the most impactful projects of all the state’s redevelopment,” Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) officials said. Site preparation includes removing underground utilities, demolishing old structures and developing remediation plans for future space use.

Other awards include $5.9 million to the Flint Genesee Economic Alliance for work on the Flint Commerce Center project. The Flint Genesee Economic Alliance will update the sewer system and remove underground utilities, concrete slabs and foundations.

Greenfield awards include $17.5 million to The Right Place to develop the Covenant Business Park in western Michigan. The project will include installing site utilities and bolstering the site’s marketability, state officials said.  Additionally, an $18.6 million award to Detroit Aerotropolis will support work on 440 acres in Van Buren Township, located 34 miles west of Detroit.

Award eligibility extends to Michigan subdivisions, including counties, cities, villages and townships, plus local economic development corporations. Individuals identified as a site’s end user may also apply. Site owners are eligible provided they apply jointly with either a political subdivision or economic development corporation.

The MEDC received 70 applications totaling $420 million in projects — more than four times the available amount. Because of the high demand, the state agency has submitted a list of applications self-identified as brownfields to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to review for potential assistance.

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Photo courtesy of Racer Trust

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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