PA 381 Brownfield Redevelopment Financing Act
The Brownfield Redevelopment Financing Act (Public Act 381 of 1996) allows municipalities to create Brownfield Redevelopment Authorities (BRA) to finance brownfield redevelopment projects on sites that are considered to be contaminated, blighted, or obsolete property. Local BRAs can fund these projects by establishing a tax increment financing (TIF) district or through grants and loans from Michigan’s Brownfield Redevelopment Program or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Redeveloped brownfields can be used for a variety of purposes to generate revenue for the municipality, which may include land uses that also support local food economies.
Local and regional BRAs can potentially improve food access by transforming vacant or blighted properties into urban farms or food hubs (Leonard 2014; Cantrell et al. 2013). Various cities in Michigan have used brownfield funds to create opportunities for food retail businesses. The City of Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority used these funds to create the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, a food innovation district (MDEQ n.d.), while The City of Lansing BRA redeveloped the City Market (MDEQ 2011). Likewise, Lincoln Township in Berrien County received a loan to fund the cleanup of a site that eventually became a Meijer (MDEQ 2011).
Priority 4 – Support new or existing grocery stores, Priority 5 – Encourage food business districts
Cantrell, P., Colasanti, K., Goddeeris, L., Lucas, S., McCauley, M., Michigan State
University Urban Planning Practicum 2012 (2013). Food Innovation Districts: An Economic Gardening Tool. Northwest Michigan Council of Governments. Retrieved on November 7, 2014 from LINK.
Leonard, N. (2014). Utilizing Michigan Brownfield Policies to Incentivize
Community-Based Urban Agriculture in Detroit. Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law, 3(2), 421-458.
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). (2011). “Brownfield
Redevelopment Grant and Loan Projects: Projects Awarded Since Fiscal Year 2008 (Starting October 1, 2007).” Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Retrieved on November 12, 2014 from LINK.
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). (n.d.). “Brownfield
Redevelopment Success Stories: Report for EPA Region 5.” Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Retrieved on November 12, 2014 from LINK.