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Fighting Downtown Blight with Economic Incentives

Saginaw secures $850k to redevelop vacant property.

Vibrant downtown areas are a critical component of our local economies. Faced with a growing number of vacant properties in these key commercial districts, Michigan’s city, township, and county officials are leveraging powerful economic incentives to fight downtown blight in their communities.

After assuming ownership of a vacant building in a prime downtown location, the City of Saginaw recently elected to redevelop the 60,000 square foot property. Unfortunately, the former retail space contained dangerous building materials such as PCBs, lead, and asbestos. The presence of these materials increased the cost of demolition considerably.

With limited time and resources available, the city of Saginaw explored additional financing methods. Due to our extensive redevelopment experience, AKT Peerless was retained to help secure funding and provide environmental and economic development consulting services.

To help fund this project, we leveraged Tax Increment Financing (TIF) incentives, a method by which the future increases in property tax revenues are used to finance project activities. TIF is a powerful financing tool that local communities can use to boost economic development without experiencing a loss to any taxing jurisdiction.

By employing the TIF incentives offered by the Downtown Development Authority and the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, we were able to secure over $850k for Saginaw’s redevelopment project. This is just one example of how Michigan’s local governments are leveraging economic incentives to revitalize their community infrastructure.

View a time-lapse video of the demolition.

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