Brownfield Authority approves MDEQ funding request for Plaza Roosevelt

Published on May 16, 2018

Plaza Roosevelt Site Plan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The City of Grand Rapids’ Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) this morning approved submission of a grant application to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).  The grant will help pay for the costs of environmental activities at the Plaza Roosevelt project site in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood on the city’s Southwest Side. 

The MDEQ grant will provide funding for environmental due diligence, asbestos abatement, demolition, transportation and disposal of contaminated soils, among other eligible costs.  The grant request of $1 million is expected to result in a $162,000 award due to statewide demand of the MDEQ program.  

Plaza Roosevelt is a neighborhood-driven development project being led by Habitat for Humanity of Kent County (Habitat Kent) along with multiple community partners: Grand Rapids Public Schools, Dwelling Place of Grand Rapids, Mercy Health, Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities, Ferris State University, the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association and the City of Grand Rapids.  

"Plaza Roosevelt focuses on listening to the needs of neighbors and empowering them to improve their community," said BriAnne McKee, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. "This grant helps support the neighborhood's goal for a healthier and more sustainable place to raise their families.”

Plans for the project, which is slated for 6½ acres east of Grandville Avenue SW, north of Franklin Street SW and south of Graham Street SW, include a new public high school, 17 affordable townhomes built by Habitat Kent, expansion of Clínica Santa María to include a pharmacy, two 24-unit multi-family buildings of affordable housing built by Dwelling Place with first-floor commercial space and a City park along Grandville Avenue.

"The support from the City of Grand Rapids and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will help make the Plaza Roosevelt development more affordable while providing significant environmental improvements to the site and neighborhood as a whole," said Ivor Thomas, Habitat Kent's director of community development.

Along with recent approval by the City’s Planning Commission, the MDEQ grant represents the initial stage of City support for redevelopment of the site. The grant will be administered by the BRA.

“The Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is excited to be a partner in this unique redevelopment effort,” said Kara Wood, executive director of the BRA. “Projects like Plaza Roosevelt truly demonstrate what is possible when neighborhood residents, community organizations and municipalities collaborate toward a shared goal.”