EGLE sends nearly $6M in grants to clean up Detroit brownfield sites

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Michigan EGLE Brownfield
Posted at 4:07 PM, Jan 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-10 18:24:03-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Nearly $6 million is headed to the city of Detroit for brownfield development.

The money is a part of a grant from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energ (EGLE).

The state says they’ll be using the money to remediate some vacant lots and old buildings at four different sites. The sites include the Former AMC headquarters in Detroit, the 5800 block of Michigan Avenue in Detroit, several parcels of land in Piety Hill neighborhood and American Indian Health and Family Services center on Wesson.

“Often times these sites were used properly, but the nature of the use made it contaminated but that’s why we’re here. We help remove those barriers to redevelopment,” says Dan Gough who is the Brownfield coordinator with EGLE.

Gough says this is just a small portion of the investments the state makes every year toward redeveloping properties that have sat idle. Just last year, EGLE allocated $20.7 million to redeveloping 67 brownfield properties statewide.

“It’s so important that we reuse the existing areas that we have as opposed to building on greenfield sites outside of city limits, help limit urban sprawl, reuse the spaces we currently have and put these spaces back into productive reuse,” says Gough.

Norma Heath who lives in the Piety Hill neighborhood says she takes pride in where she lives and is excited to hear there will be investment in her neighborhood.

“I been here 20 years and when I moved in it was something else. It has really changed, changed for the better,” said Heath.

Heath, who is an active part of her block club in the Piety Hill Neighborhood, says even still there’s a lot more that needs to be done.

“You go on some sidewalks, and you see a big hole. Those things need to change, just the appearance of things,” Heath said as she sat on her front porch.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy says they’ll be addressing contamination at the apartment building on Second and in vacant lots on Gladstone and Blaine in the Piety Hill neighborhood.

The state will also be removing environmental contamination from an area on Michigan Avenue and at the former American Motor Company headquarters on Plymouth. Monday the site was being demolished. EGLE says NorthPoint Development plans to invest $72 million into transforming the building into a light manufacturing facility.

Devyn McNaughton who also lives in the Piety Hill neighborhood says the development is a welcome change.

“These communities have been left behind in the past and really the only federal money that was coming into the city was money for highways or money benefitting suburbanites who were just here to commute,” McNaughton said. “So, it’s nice to see that federal and state dollars are coming to the community for the community.”

EGLE says they’re hoping to see construction at the sites by the end of the year.