Michigan has a rich industrial past, from the lumber area through the automotive era. While these were fruitful industries economically, many business sites are considered environmental brownfield sites today. Brownfields are defined as “real property for which the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.”
Our goal is to reuse brownfield sites thus increasing the site’s taxable value, utilizing public infrastructure that may already be in place, and preserving green space. Two primary tools aid in redeveloping brownfields:
Bay Harbor – One of the Largest Reclamation Projects in U.S.
Bay Harbor is celebrating its 20 year anniversary this summer. The five mile long property was a cement plant and quarry from 1880 to 1983 and was a significant economic driver for the region. This vast Brownfield site sat vacant for 10 years until in 1994 developer David Johnson and CMS Energy “took a chance” and partnered to develop a resort community that would transform the site into a major destination. This project is one of the largest reclamation projects in the United States and has received many awards for cleanup and reuse of Brownfield sites.
Bay Harbor is not completed yet, but what you see now represents over half a billion in capital investment and the “true cash value” of the property has grown from $4 million to $488 million. Bay Harbor has also generated over $183 million in tax revenue to local government and entities. This property is once again a major economic driver for the region.
Congratulations Bay Harbor, and thank you David Johnson and CMS Energy. We’re grateful for what’s happened to-date, but we’re even more excited about what the future will bring. Stay tuned!
Before and After – A Brownfield Redevelopment Project
The One Water Brownfield Redevelopment Project, Boyne City, sits on a former railroad roundhouse, shingle mill and commercial boat dock. Click here for project details.
Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA)
Michigan law permits municipalities to create BRAs, an institutional structure to promote local planning and to implement brownfield redevelopment. Each BRA develops a plan that identifies eligible properties within its jurisdiction. Developers of brownfield sites may receive reimbursement for brownfield remediation that is needed before a project can begin construction.
Brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
Tax increment financing is the incentive a BRA can offer a brownfield site developer. The developer remediates the contamination so it becomes a viable site, and the new taxes created on the new development are captured and used to reimburse the developer for remediation costs. This involves a complicated pre-approval process by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, as well as the BRA and the respective county.
To learn more about Brownfield Tax Incentives, click here.
BRA’s in the NLEA Region
|Antrim County||Pete Garwood||231-533-6265|
|Charlevoix County||Shirley Roloff||231-547-6169|
|Cheboygan County||Steve Schnell||231-627-8485|
|Emmet County||Tammy Doernenberg||231-348-1735|
NLEA’s Team of Economic Development Specialists can assist communities in finding the most effective approach to meet their needs. To learn more about our services and full range of community development solutions, please contact us at 231-582-6482, or by email.