This is a recent exchange of email regarding the status of the Packard Square project. Note that the bottom email from City Administrator Steve Powers says "there may not be any action on the site for months."
The meeting with the developer and DEQ a few weeks back resulted in the DEQ offering to award the grant to the County, with the condition that the developer show project financing within 120 days of grant award. The concern on the part of the DEQ is giving the grant to a project that doesn’t occur. Their clean-up grants are intended to result in investment and job creation.
Because the DEQ was willing to work with the developer and County, it has complicated the grant award slightly in that there has to be some language that speaks to the financing condition with the grant agreement between the County and DEQ. In addition, the developer has to be party to this agreement, as he is required to demonstrate the financing to satisfy the condition. This agreement should be finalized this week. As Brett mentioned, we are also ready to issue the RFP for an environmental consultant to assist the County with the grant administration.
One clarification on Mr. Powers’ email below: Any funds the County expends in grant administration on an environmental consultant, during the 120 days between the time the grant is awarded and the developer demonstrates (or doesn’t) project financing, the DEQ has committed to reimbursing. Therefore, the County is not risking any funds if the developer does not finance the project. In addition, any clean-up work conducted by the County will be paid for by the developer and then get reimbursed by the grant. So, again, the County will not have to front any funds used to do the clean up, and therefore, will not lose those funds if the project is not financed. The developer is taking all the risk here.
Once the work actually begins, demolition and remediation should not take more than 60 days, according to a construction schedule that was given to us.
We are all working hard to move the project forward. Sue Erickson with the DEQ deserves the most credit for making this grant happen.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Economic Development Specialist
Washtenaw County Office of Community & Economic Development
110 N. Fourth Ave., Ste 300
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
This is great. Thanks Brett!
We’re still working on some of the details around the grant agreement/and agreement between the developer and County. The County is preparing an RFP for environmental consultants to help oversee the project. I’ll have Nathan Voght from our office send an update soon to meet your timetable.
Office of Community & Economic Development
(734) 622-9006 phone
Are there any updates from the meeting that was supposed to have happened last week with MDEQ, developer and county? Please fill me in, as I would like to send something out to residents this week. Thanks!
The grant remains viable, although there may not be any action on the site for months.
On April 4, Susan Erickson, Chief, Brownfield Redevelopment Program Unit, Remediation Division, MDEQ, met with the developer for Packard Square. Jeffery Kahan from Planning, Washtenaw County, and Gary Owen from GCSI also attended. Ms. Erickson has agreed to provide a $1 million grant for clean-up of the site, subject to the developer providing documentation that financing is in place for 100% of the project. The grant dollars would be released after the remediation is complete. The developer requested 120 days to provide the financing documentation, with a 30 day extension if substantial progress toward financing has been demonstrated. If the developer is unable to provide the documentation, the grant will be cancelled and Washtenaw County and developer will not be reimbursed for any costs incurred.
Margie, you were copied on the complete report of the meeting. The MDEQ, developer, and county are meeting again next week at the county offices.