While economic development is focused on jobs and wages, community development focuses on the physical assets of a community: water and sewer infrastructure, public spaces, recreation resources, and real estate portfolios. Michigan offers a number of programs for local units of government to invest in their assets to entice businesses and people to engage in their community.
DOWNTOWN DEVELOPEMENT TOOLS
Community Revitalization Program
The Community Revitalization Program (CRP) is an incentive program available from the Michigan Strategic Fund, in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The focus of the CRP is to encourage and promote the rehabilitation and redevelopment of brownfield and historic preservation sites located in traditional downtowns and high-impact corridors. MCRP incentives provide gap financing in the form of performance-based grants, loans, or other economic assistance for eligible projects in Michigan.
Downtown Development Authorities
A Downtown Development Authority (DDA) provides for a variety of funding sources including tax increment financing to fund public improvements in a designated downtown district and the ability to levy millage to address administrative expenses. Click here for a list of DDAs with contact information.
Michigan Mainstreet Program
The Main Street Program recognizes that the downtown business district of a community has traditionally been its heart, and the health of a community is dependent upon the vitality of this core district. The program is a four-point approach to economic revitalization and historic preservation for traditional downtowns.
Public Spaces and Community Places
The Public Spaces and Community Places program was developed in conjunction with the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, a locally focused online platform for crowdfunding. Communities can apply to get a grant up to $100,000 to match crowdfunded capital, for projects such as parks, a public plaza, alley reconstruction, trails, streetscape, etc.
Redevelopment Ready Communities
Redevelopment Ready Communities® (RRC) is a state-wide program that certifies communities who actively engage stakeholders to vision and plan for the future. An RRC certification signals to business owners, developers, and investors that the community has removed development barriers by building deliberate, fair and consistent processes.
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.
Brownfield Redevelopment Authority
Michigan law permits municipalities to create a Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA), 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
Tax increment financing (TIF) 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 the costs of environmental and/or non-environmental eligible activities.
MI Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Brownfield Redevelopment Program
Brownfield Projects can seek reimbursement from state and local property taxes for eligible environmental activities through submission of a Work Plan or Combined Plan to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. The department provides financial and technical assistance including grants, loans, tax increment financing and free site assessments to facilitate the redevelopment of brownfield properties.
Environmental Protection Agency’s Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) Program funds technical assistance to communities on brownfield issues with the goal of increasing the community’s understanding and involvement in brownfield cleanup and revitalization and helping to move brownfields sites toward cleanup and reuse.
COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES
Commercial Rehabilitation Act
Public Act 210 encourages the rehabilitation of commercial property by abating the property taxes generated from new investment for a period up to ten years. Types of commercial property enterprises include office, engineering, research and development, warehousing, parts distribution, and retail.
Commercial Facilities Exemption
Public Act 255 encourages the redevelopment of commercial property within an established Commercial Redevelopment District by abating the property taxes generated from new investment for a period up to twelve years. Properties are eligible if their primary purpose and use is/will be a commercial business enterprise.
A land bank is a governmental authority whose purpose is to manage abandoned, underutilized, or blighted property and turn it into a productive use. A land bank owns properties and can sell, rent, clean, redevelop, or hold a property tax free until it is ready for sale or development. Emmet and Charlevoix County have land banks. Antrim and Cheboygan Counties can utilize the Michigan State Land Bank to access resources.
The NLEA serves both current and prospective companies in Northern Lower Michigan, providing one-stop assistance for location, innovation, and growth.