Lansing Economic Development Corp. approves brownfield plan

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Denver Williams on the Brownfield development plan.

The Lansing Economic Development Corporation board of directors approved a new Brownfield development plan in Lansing on Friday, October 7, 2022.

Brownfield properties are ones in which the redevelopment may be difficult due to chemical contamination. Redeveloping these properties reduces urban sprawl, protects the environment and produces new economic opportunities.

Conner Zook and Dave Vanhaaren from Triterra, a Michigan-based environmental consulting firm, were present at the board meeting and gave a presentation on the environmental hazards  affecting this Brownfield site.

“The developer came to us initially regarding environmental concerns with the property, so we did an environmental investigation of the site and we found that there was contamination on the property,” Vanhaaren said.

Zook took the floor and gave a presentation on solutions to reduce further contamination and create a safe environment for those working on this site.

“It’s a facility from PERC contamination and tetrachloroethylene from an adjacent dry cleaner that used to sit on the West side,” Zook said.

Paige McCallum with background on the new Brownfield development plan.

The development plan, approved by LEDC Vice-Chair, Shelly Davis Boyd, and board member, Michael McKissic, will turn the property on 923 West Saginaw Street into a retail and warehouse space.

The property has structural integrity and sits on approximately .436 acres, which will be rehabilitated into a function space for Moneyball Sportswear to utilize in place of its current location.

Moneyball Sportswear, founded in 2002 by Desmond Ferguson, who was not present at the meeting, aims to create sports uniforms that are unique and customizable. The current location in Michigan is 603 North Waverly Road in Lansing.

Shawn Elliot, a developer for Diamonds in the Rough, spoke at the board meeting. 

“This project will go from the ugly duckling to the beauty of the community quickly,” Elliot said.

Elliot will be working on Brownfield #83 as a developer and spoke about the financial aspect of this upcoming project.

“I’ve got a bit of a financing background with these projects myself, so I can hopefully make a good argument if he (Furgeson) gets some money. A couple hundred grand gets this thing running pretty fast in front of the weather,” Elliot said.

An image of the flyer for the LEDC meeting open to the public.
230 North Washington Square in downtown Lansing where the LEDC held its board meeting. Photo credit: Paige McCallum.

The reconstruction of Brownfield #83 is also slated to add revenue to the City of Lansing. Environmental taxes as well as the gentrification of this community will lead other businesses into pursuing redevelopment plans of their own. This project is set to reimburse the LEDC within 30 years of completion.

The reconstruction on this site will start. The construction should be finished sometime in April if everything goes according to plan. 

“One of the models we run on in my business is that people bring people, but projects bring projects,” Elliot said.

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