Grant, loan awarded for Vault project

MARQUETTE — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has awarded $2.1 million in brownfield grants and loans for redevelopment of contaminated properties in the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula.

Overall, in 2022 EGLE will provide $20.7 million in brownfield funding to 67 projects statewide.

The plans include redeveloping a historic bank building in Marquette.

The city of Marquette, Marquette Vault LLC and EGLE have partnered to facilitate the redevelopment of the historic State Savings Bank Building and construction of new commercial space, residential space and public parking in the heart of downtown Marquette.

Historically, the site accommodated a rail line and an automobile garage/service center. Existing contamination in soil and groundwater, likely attributable to these former uses, will be addressed to make the site safe for reuse.

A $495,000 brownfield redevelopment grant and a $1 million loan from EGLE will pay for environmental costs, select demolition and asbestos abatement. Contaminated soil and groundwater will be properly disposed of and barriers beneath the new construction will be installed to prevent potential exposure to subsurface contamination. Additionally, the city has approved a brownfield plan to capture future tax revenue to help pay for other environmental costs and site improvements.

After the site can be safely reused, Marquette Vault LLC will transform the State Savings Bank into a boutique hotel and construct a new 70,000-square-foot development to include additional hotel rooms, commercial space, residential units and a 200-space public parking facility. It is anticipated that the $33.5 million redevelopment project will result in several benefits for Marquette, including the creation of 10 full-time jobs, 40 part-time jobs and a $10.5 million increase in the property’s taxable value, EGLE said.

“As a homeowner a few blocks from the site, I’m thrilled to see this magnificent, historic building anchoring such an important development in the heart of Marquette’s downtown,” said David Allen, chair of the Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. “I’m proud to see this partnership between the city of Marquette, the state of Michigan and private developers coming closer to fruition.”

More than half of EGLE’s budget each year flows into Michigan communities through grants, loans and other spending that supports local projects and protects public health and the environment, ultimately creating economic growth and jobs for Michigan workers, EGLE said in a news release.

When brownfields — vacant or abandoned properties with known or suspected contamination — are redeveloped, property values increase both on the revitalized site and on other nearby properties.

EGLE’s Remediation and Redevelopment Division provides financial and technical assistance, including grants, loans, tax-increment financing and free site assessments to facilitate the redevelopment of brownfield properties.


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