Thursday, June 30, 2022

Foundry project is awarded Brownfield status

Developers of the former Foundry Flask building were granted brownfield status at a recent meeting of the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority in Northville.

The committee recommendation regarding the property at 456 Cady St. will now go before members of the city council to determine whether the public benefits of a greenway along the Middle Rouge River warrants interest for the developer and use of Tax Increment Financing funds to remediate the property. 

The property is located south of Cady, east of Griswold and west of S. Main, with portions in the Northville Historic District. It formerly housed the American Bell & Foundry Co., Stinson Aircraft, and Stimpson Scale and Manufacturing prior to becoming Foundry Flask. The property was sold by Douglas Brinkman, president of the former Foundry Flask & Equipment Co., to Utah Development, LLC. The representative is Jim Long, a longtime city resident and owner of Long Companies. 

The brownfield designation will be used to fund environmental cleanup and other eligible activities. The authority recently established a process for reimbursement and compliance for developers who are granted a tax abatement in exchange for property remediation. Generally, the property contains toxic substances or is distressed (environmentally or functionally) and its revitalization would add value to the city in terms of new use and an expanded tax base. 

Authority directors including Chair Patrick McGow, Michelle Aniol, John Carter, David Hay, Ryan McKindles, Barbara Moroski-Browne, and Don Webb agreed on the recommendation requested by Long.  City Treasurer Sandi Wiktoroski serves as the authority treasurer and Samantha Seimer and Brian Westhoff, both of AKT Peerless, act as consultants to the authority. 

The authority is authorized to allow the use of Tax Increment Financing revenues to pay for or reimburse public or private costs of eligible activities as defined in Act 381, the state of Michigan Brownfield Financing Act. These include such items as Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA) activities, due care activities (which limit exacerbation of, or exposure to, contamination on a site), demolition (above and below ground), lead and asbestos assessment and abatement, certain administrative and consultant costs, and environmental insurance. 

A Local Brownfield Revolving Fund (LBRF) allows the fund to capture Tax Increment Revenue (TIR) for a period not-to-exceed five years after the original reimbursement period is complete.