This property is located adjacent to the Boardman River in downtown Traverse City and had been used as an automotive repair and gasoline retail site since the 1920s. Underground storage tanks (USTs) were removed in 1995 and 2000, providing evidence of a waste motor oil release. Automobile hoists, an oil/water separator, drums, and sumps all caused contamination of the site. When the building was razed in 2001, a sheen of oil was observed just yards from the river's edge where motor oil was changed by draining it into the earth. Petroleum and heavy metal contamination affected soil and groundwater at the site and had spread beyond the property boundaries into the adjoining street and alley. The site sat vacant for 9 years and became locally referred to as the unsightly fenced-in "hole in the ground."
The Brownfield plan supported the site's reuse as a mixed-use commercial and residential development. Eligible Brownfield activities included baseline environmental assessments and due care compliance activities aimed at investigating site conditions such that redevelopment activities may occur on the property. Excavation for the basement and completion of Part 201 eligible assessment activities promoted the removal and proper disposal of contaminated soil from the site. The leaking waste oil tank, which was abandoned in place, was removed at that time and little of the decades old impacts to soil and groundwater remain at the site. Without the Brownfield plan, the site would remain contaminated, a threat to our region's water quality and an on-going source of blight that many remember it to be.
Through $20 million in private investment a new, five-story, mixed use commercial/retail/residential building in Traverse City with private parking was built, creating 60 new jobs. The building is now home to the Traverse City Film Festival Box Offices, the Wet Mitten Surf Shop, the Grand Traverse Pie Community, and Smith Haughey Attorneys at Law (29 Attorneys), and numerous residential units. Grand Traverse Pie Company owns Grand Traverse Pie Community and runs it like any other store, however profits from this location are donated to charities. The company also purchased over $18 million of Michigan agricultural products in 2011.
When the project was put into the Brownfield plan in 2000, the taxable value of the property was $229,025. In ten years, the 2011 projected taxable value is anticipated to be over $18 million. This Brownfield project is anticipated to be complete in 2016. The State and the TBISD will recognize an increase in tax base at the end of the Brownfield plan. As this project is contained within the DDA, all other taxing jurisdictions will recognize the increase in the growth in 2027 which is the end of the DDA Plan. As an example of the economic growth for our taxing jurisdictions, in 1999, the TBISD received $671.32 in yearly taxes in 2000. In 2026, the TBISD will receive $39,007 in yearly taxes.