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Michigan awards $1M grant to support Detroit's Fisher Body plant transformation

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(CBS DETROIT) - The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy awarded a $1 million grant to help transform the former Fisher Body Plant 21 in Detroit into housing. 

On Thursday, EGLE said the $1 million Brownfield Redevelopment Grant would cover investigations, transportation and disposal of contaminated soil. The investment would also support the cleanup of a leaking underground storage tank and install a vapor mitigation system, according to a news release.

The $153 million project will include 433 residential units and 44,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor.

"We are thrilled that EGLE is providing a significant grant to assist in the redevelopment of this historic, highly visible, and very challenging site," said Brian Vosburg, senior director of Brownfield Redevelopment at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, in a statement. "EGLE has long been a critical partner to the City for the cleanup and redevelopment of many of Detroit's most environmentally challenged properties."

The city of Detroit announced in 2022 that the historic plant would be redeveloped into mixed-use housing, including affordable housing and retail space. 

The 105-year-old Fisher Body plant was built in 1919 and was used by General Motors until 1984. It was later used by a paint company until it was abandoned in 1993. The city of Detroit then took ownership in 2000.

EGLE found asbestos-containing materials and lead paint inside the plant and removed the underground storage tank in 2010. In 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency removed soil and equipment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls.

The redevelopment is expected to be completed in summer 2026.

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