Redevelopment Process

The Grand Traverse County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority was established under the auspices of Act 381, PA 1996 by the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners by resolution at their September 24, 1997 meeting.

The County Board also appointed the 9-member Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Board to oversee policy and implementation of the Redevelopment Authority.

The purpose of the County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is to promote the revitalization of environmentally distressed areas through the implementation of the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Act.

The Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Act provides for the ability to utilize tax increment financing to pay for certain eligible environmental activities. Tax increment financing captures the increase in taxes due to the new increased value from private investment in the redeveloped property.
Development Process
The Grand Traverse County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has taken the following overall approach to Brownfield Redevelopment:

Developers are ultimately responsible for the overall redevelopment and environmental activities and costs.

The Brownfield Authority will work to qualify eligible environmental activities for tax recapture.

Developers contract with environmental consultants and others to prepare all information necessary for the Brownfield Redevelopment Plan, Act 381 Work Plan, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) approval and Brownfield Authority approvals.

Developers consultant to review documents, invoices, and plans to ensure that the Brownfield and Act 381 Plans, and the Development Agreement is being followed.

There are 7 stages to the Brownfield Redevelopment Process:
  1. Part 1 Project Application (PDF)
  2. Part 2 Project Application (PDF)
  3. Application Review
  4. Project Plan Development/Financing
  5. Plan Approval
  6. Financing
  7. Development
Project Application
The project application is the initial step for consideration of a Brownfield Redevelopment project. Project developers will be requested to submit an information package which will include:
  • Location: Overall site location and legal description
  • Development Principals: Owners, consultants, financial partners
  • Environmental Plan: Approach to addressing environmental issues including facility listing, BEA, due care, additional response activities
  • Redevelopment Plans: Site plan and proposed use
  • Financial Feasibility: Cost of environmental activities, investment and estimate value
Application Review
The Part 1 project application will be initially reviewed by the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority staff to determine the project eligibility and efficacy. If the BRA approves the Part 2 application, a Brownfield plan will be developed.
Project Plan Development
If the results of the preliminary assessments are positive and the Authority approves to move forward, the next step is to develop a Brownfield Plan. The requirements of the plan are detailed in Act 381 and include:
  • Description of costs, including a summary of eligible activities.
  • Estimate of the captured taxable value and tax increment revenues
  • Method of financing
  • Maximum amount of bond or other indebtedness
  • Project duration
  • Estimate of impact of tax increment financing on all taxing jurisdictions
  • Legal description of parcel
  • Residential displacement and relocation analysis
Once a Brownfield Plan is approved, the next step is the creation of a "Work Plan."

Work Plan
Applicants must review and submit the work plan consistent with the most recent Instructions for Preparing and Submitting Work Plans (PDF) as published by the DEQ and MEDC. All Brownfield and work plans must be provided to the BRA Director a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the BRA meeting they wish to be heard at. The BRA generally meets the last Wednesday of the month.
Plan Approval
Consideration of Brownfield Plan approval must be publicly noticed and approved at a public meeting of the GTCBRA and the County Board. All taxing units must be notified of the projected impact of the project and have the opportunity to comment.
Typically, eligible activity costs are paid upfront by the developer and reimbursed through the use of tax increment financing. The BRA does offer financing to developers for eligible activities through our Local Site Remediation Fund or our U.S. EPA Revolving Loan Fund, and may assist developers in seeking out MDEQ and MEDC assistance through their grant and loan programs.

State assistance consists of site reclamation grants or loans to pay for certain eligible environmental activities. Grants or loan require preparation of an application by the developer and submittal by the Brownfield Authority, with approval by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Developer financing is the typical method to fund eligible activities. The developer arranges for the upfront costs and is repaid through tax increment capture. The terms and conditions of this arrangement are codified in the development agreement.
The eligible activities are conducted by the agents of the project developers. Close contact with the project developers will be necessary to ensure that the work is being appropriately conducted and payments are made in a timely fashion.