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DETROIT-Four major brownfields in Benton Harbor and Detroit are on the road to redevelopment due to state assistance. The projects are expected to generate more than $70 million in private investment and help redevelop long blighted urban areas of these cities.

The Federal Reserve Bank will build a 260,000-sf office and processing center in the city of Detroit. The property is located just east of I-75 bounded by Warren, Russell and Forrest avenues.

The city of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority was approved to receive tax increment financing benefits in the amount of $3.2 million to prepare the contaminated site for redevelopment. Pre-development activities will include the relocation of multiple utility service lines, removal of a deteriorated parking lot and adding an additional turn lane and sidewalks. The total investment in the project is expected to reach $65 million.

The Fidelity Building located in the heart of Benton Harbor has been vacant for more than 30 years. The Benton Harbor Brownfield Development Authority was granted $267,500 in brownfield tax increment financing to prepare the historic building for rehabilitation into senior housing. Some of the pre-development activities include demolition and clearing the property of possible lead and asbestos contaminates. The total investment required to bring the building back to a useful condition is expected to exceed $5.2 million.

The Benton Hotel in Benton Harbor’s business district will also be redeveloped. The project received approval for $307,500 in brownfield tax increment financing to help prepare the site for redevelopment. Pre-development will include reconstructing an adjacent parking lot and other pre-development activities to allow for further stabilization of the original building.

The primary developer, Cornerstone Alliance, will make additional renovations to make the building attractive to private enterprise.

The former senior center at 53 West Wall St. in Benton Harbor will benefit from $50,000 in brownfield tax increment financing.

Public parking facilities are needed at the Benton Harbor site to accommodate the new location of Integrity Design Inc. Integrity is a mechanical engineering and design firm specializing in automated assembly machine design. The company has moved from a facility in St. Joseph, MI to make room for a major expansion of Whirlpool.

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