Two Other Brownfield Designations

July 2, 2004
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GRAND RAPIDS — In addition to the Alticor hotel project, city commissioners also awarded brownfield status to two other projects last week.

One went to the formerly city-owned Monroe Avenue Water Filtration Plant at 1430 Monroe Ave. NW.

De Vries Development plans to renovate the 40,000-square-foot lower level of the plant into retail and office space. The firm, headed by a father-and-son team — Ed and Mike De Vries — also plans to build six apartments on the upper floor.

Ed De Vries said the site may also become a home to a water research institute if Tom Newhof, president of the engineering firm Prein and Newhof, gets the state grant for which he has applied.

De Vries added that he closed on the property with Dykema Excavators last month. Dykema bought the site from the city about six years ago.

De Vries Development will invest $5 million in the project. If the state approves the firm’s brownfield application, De Vries will receive 10 percent of the project’s cost in Single Business Tax credits. Up to 20 new jobs could result from the project, which also is in the city’s nearly tax-free Renaissance Zone.

Commissioners also awarded the tax-savings designation to the Mid Towne Village project, a mixed-use development being built on six near-downtown acres bounded by Michigan Street, I-196, Paris Avenue and Union Avenue.

The development group Mid Towne Village LLC plans to build 182,000 square feet of retail, office, medical office and residential space in five buildings.

The group plans to invest $30 million in the project and, if approved by the state, would qualify for a $3 million SBT credit. Also, $2.64 million of tax-increment financing will be used for infrastructure improvements in the development area. The project could create up to 350 new jobs.

Rick Chapla, a redevelopment specialist with The Right Place Inc., told commissioners that a state committee would review the brownfield applications on July 13.           

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