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A New Chapter for Eight Mile

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Brownfield Redevelopment of Functionally Obsolete Property in Southfield, Michigan

Eight Mile Road in Southfield, Michigan, was put in the national spotlight after the movie of the same name, starring rapper Eminem, received rave reviews and won an Oscar for “Best Song”.  The film painted an ominous and depressed picture of the area. However, a redevelopment project that PM Environmental recently worked on is looking to change that image. 

The City of Southfield, partner agencies, such as the Eight Mile Boulevard Association (8MBA), and private developers have been working together to improve Eight Mile Road with new developments and redevelopments.

One of the more recent projects is by Arizona Investments, LLC, on West Eight Mile Road. The $1.5 million redevelopment includes demolishing a significant portion of the current structure (14,304 square feet) and renovating the western portion (3,900 square feet) into a multi-tenant retail building.  In place of the currently cement-lined street, there will be ample green space and trees, particularly in front of the renovated building. 

The property is comprised of multiple buildings that were constructed from 1945 to 1970. Tenants have included Evergreen Printers, an automotive fabricating and rust proofing company, Arbe Electric Company and GM Wood & Metal, Inc., and, most recently, Pegasus Theatrical, Inc. from 1988 to early 2013.  The buildings sat vacant until Arizona Investments, LLC purchased in them in late 2013. 

PM Environmental conducted a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and, based on its findings, conducted Phase II ESAs, asbestos survey, as well as prepared a brownfield plan to help the company take advantage of redevelopment incentives.  

The property was deemed to be functionally obsolete due to the asbestos-containing building materials and lack of off-street parking, among other issues.  The functional obsolescence determination qualified it for brownfield redevelopment incentives.

PM successfully completed a brownfield plan for tax increment financing reimbursement of eligible activities including demolition, site preparation, and infrastructure improvements and were able to secure over $121,300 in tax revenue reimbursements. 

“The City of Southfield provided immense support to this project along each step of the brownfield approval and site plan phase,” said DeBone. 

The development will create 20 new full/part-time jobs, contribute to a distressed area that is in need of investment and improvements and increase commercial/retail availability and consumer spending.

“This project will serve as a catalyst for future redevelopment along West Eight Mile Road,” said DeBone. 

Project completion is anticipated between fall 2015 and winter 2016