By Merinda Valley
Meridian Times staff writer
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP — The Ingham County Board of Commissioners has approved the Douglas J brownfield redevelopment project for the property in downtown Okemos.
The Douglas J salon is now eligible for reimbursement of up to $328,900 to clean up contaminants in the site’s soil and buildings, and demolish the former Travelers Club, Triple Goddess Bookstore and White Bros. Music.
The Ingham County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will fund the project through a local tax capture that is projected to begin in 2014 and end in 2017. Following the cleanup, construction of Douglas J’s new salon, and office, residential and retail space will begin.
Douglas J will expand its salon and spa into a three-story, 25,000-square foot structure on the northwest corner of Okemos and Hamilton roads. An 18,000-square foot mixed-use building will also be built on the site, and the existing Douglas J facility will serve as the company’s corporate headquarters.
At the county board’s March 26 meeting, there was an opportunity for public comment regarding the brownfield plan. Sandy Gower, economic development coordinator for Ingham County, was the only member of the audience to speak.
Gower gave a brief summary of the project and cited the property’s former gas station, and asbestos as reasons cleanup is necessary.
After Gower’s statement, board Chairwoman Deb Nolan, who serves District 12 in Meridian Township said,
“I’m proud to add that that’s a great improvement to that corner in my district. So, I’m very pleased with this project.”
These comments come after the county board’s County Services Committee and Finance Committee voted unanimously to pass the Douglas J brownfield proposal earlier in the week.
“This is the direction we should be going in as far as redevelopment,” Commissioner Diane Holman said of the brownfield project at the County Services Committee meeting.
According to the brownfield plan, the Douglas J salon expansion will add 100 new jobs to the area, and more than $3.7 million of taxable value to the property currently worth $390,631.
View the entire Ingham County Board of Commissioners meeting here.