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Oak Park Awarded $600K Grant For Historic WWJ Building Revitalization

OAK PARK, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - The iconic former WWJ Broadcast Station located at 12700 West Eight Mile Road in Oak Park will be redeveloped as a destination restaurant with help from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

The city was awarded a $600,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said this grant illustrates the transformational impact of brownfield redevelopment efforts.

"We're thrilled to be working with the city of Oak Park to restore the historical WWJ building in Detroit," Whitmer said. "Projects like these that restore iconic buildings to full potential are bolstering small businesses and job creation in our state. This work is vital to Michigan, and shows that we're embracing bold solutions to strengthen our communities, grow our economy and prepare for the road ahead."

An electrical transformer in the basement exploded in 2014 during a flood and power outage and contaminated the basement concrete with PCBs. Flood water was pumped outside, contaminating some soil surrounding the building. Contaminated soil and concrete and asbestos-containing materials in the 83-year-old structure will be removed using the brownfield grant.

Union Joints, owners of other metro Detroit restaurants including the Vinsetta Garage and Clarkston Union restaurants, will repurpose the building into a destination restaurant. The 1936 Art Deco building's historic features will be retained in the new restaurant. The $4 million redevelopment will create 100 new jobs.

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