Scio Township likes the Brownfield Plan for 300 N. Zeeb Road


300 N. Zeeb Road. photo by Lonnie Huhman

In another important step forward, Scio Township has approved the county’s Brownfield Plan for 300 North Zeeb Road.

To get there the Scio Township Board needed to first review the Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority's plan for 300 N. Zeeb Road. The township board approved the plan by a unanimous vote at its April 25 meeting.

The plan must be approved by Scio Township before the Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (WCBRA) makes a recommendation and the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners considers it for adoption.

According to Scio Township, the site (300 N. Zeeb) has been identified as an environmental hazard. 

The plan will see the property rehabilitated through hazardous material abatement, interior demolition and reconfiguration, and soil remediation, into a more productive use, generating new jobs and tax base. To pay for it the plan proposes the capture of Tax Increment Revenues attributable to local and school operating taxes to reimburse for Brownfield Eligible Activities.

This uses a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan, where the money comes from the increase (incremental) in taxes paid on the improved property. The TIF can only be used if there is going to be an increase in the property tax, otherwise there is nothing to capture to reimburse eligible activities, according to the WCBRA.

In lead up to this, the board heard from Nathan Voght of the Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, who presented the county's draft Brownfield Plan for the facility and responded to questions from the board during the March 28 meeting. The board had previously received a general presentation on the Brownfield process as part of a Jan. 10 special meeting.

The property is described as a single parcel totaling approximately 29.14 acres bordered by residential development, I-94 and North Zeeb Road. It consists of a 162,500 square foot industrial/engineering building, an 8,280 square foot vault building, and a 2,800 square foot garage. The remainder is developed with paved parking, landscaping, and a stormwater retention pond.

As some insight into the Brownfield plan, township supervisor Will Hathaway said this in the board meeting packet:

As stated in the plan:

"Beyond capturing tax increment revenues for the State Revolving Fund, Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Administrative fees, and the Local Brownfield Revolving Fund, this plan contains the following eligible activities:

Department Specific Activities – Baseline environmental assessment (BEA); due care activities; environmental response activities, brownfield plan prep; 15% in contingency costs; and interest.

Non-Environmental Activities – Asbestos abatement, demolition, preparation and implementation of an Act 381 Work Plan; 15% in contingency costs; and interest.

The developer, A2 Zeeb LLC (Mi-HQ), plans to completely renovate the obsolete building at 300 N. Zeeb Road.

The Brownfield plan states, “The current infrastructure and layout were designed to support the conversion of printed material to microfiche and more recently from print and microfiche to digital media for archiving. Mi-HQ's redevelopment plans include a complete interior strip-out, followed by a building reconfiguration to support office, R&D and pilot scale manufacturing of several different green tech, life science and microelectronics products. Substantial interior demolition will be necessary in order to gain access to much of the hazardous material. A licensed and certified asbestos abatement contractor will strip-out and dispose of the asbestos containing materials. This will include floor tile, ductwork and any pipe insulation containing asbestos as identified in the site assessment. Post-abatement, additional interior demolition will be necessary to prepare for renovation.”

This is just part of the plan. The entire thing can be accessed through Scio Township’s webpage or at township hall.

To see the previous story on this, go to:

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