Recognizing the need for residential rental units targeting young professionals eager to live and play in downtown Lansing, The Gillespie Group, the City of Lansing and the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (LBRA) partnered to spearhead an exciting new development in line with the City’s place-making initiatives in its urban core.

The benefits were obvious. The Lansing Marketplace development is adjacent to the new City Market and close to the Grand River, and walkable to some of the downtown area’s largest entertainment venues and employers, including the Cooley Law stadium and the Lansing Brewing Company.

The challenges were daunting. The site had a history of industrial uses dating back to the 1880s. The development was hindered by buried contaminated fill and debris, and chlorinated compounds in soil and groundwater.

SME worked with the partners to create a funding package that would overcome the financial and logistical challenges, and make the proposed development a reality. The bulk of the environmental cleanup work was funded by a $1 million Clean Michigan Initiative Brownfield Redevelopment Grant (CMI Grant) from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The project also received Michigan Brownfield Tax (MBT) credits, private investment, and Brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF). SME secured the incentives on behalf of the Gillespie Group and was retained by the LBRA to manage and implement the CMI Grant.

The first phase of the development consisted of the construction of a five-story 68,000-square foot apartment building. SME’s environmental and geotechnical teams used the CMI Grant to simultaneously address the structural and human health problems with the fill and contamination, and reduce overall site development costs. SME prepared the necessary Work Plans for MDEQ to secure approval of eligible demolition and cleanup activities.

Cleanup activities included the removal and disposal of contaminated soil and groundwater, and the design and installation of a vapor intrusion mitigation system for the new apartment building. SME also provided combined environmental and construction materials services to support the cleanup and construction efforts.