AKT Peerless Project Receives Coveted 2015 Renewal Award

AKT Peerless is proud to announce that Redevelopment & Renewal Magazine has recognized a client redevelopment project as a 2015 Renewal Award winner. The Cardinal Health Medical Distribution Center, located at 6000 Rosa Parks Boulevard in Detroit, is the recipient of Redevelopment & Renewal’s prestigious Environmental Impact Award for 2015. Michigan-based AKT Peerless provided environmental consulting services spanning the entire redevelopment, and secured nearly $15 million dollars to offset site cleanup and redevelopment costs.

The project faced stiff competition from over 80 other nominated redevelopments representing all regions of the United States. Nominations were judged by a panel of 29 industry experts from across the country. According to the judges, the winner in the Environmental Impact category demonstrated the use of innovative environmental solutions in the project, while overcoming challenges and representing successful collaboration among multiple parties, which enabled the project to excel. The award will be presented at the 2015 National Brownfields Conference in Chicago on September 3rd.

“We are pleased to represent Detroit, and support KIRCO and Henry Ford Health System by providing environmental and development incentive expertise on this transformational redevelopment initiative,” said Anthony Kashat, Principal of AKT Peerless. “The Cardinal Health redevelopment will most certainly serve as a major catalyst and model for further improvements to come in this neighborhood, and the City of Detroit.”

Designed as a state-of-the-art medical distribution facility for Cardinal Health to service Henry Ford Health System, Detroit Medical Center, and other local medical centers, the project was intended by Henry Ford Health System to be the inaugural step for its comprehensive community redevelopment plan, which is improving hundreds of blighted, contaminated and obsolete properties south of the Detroit hospital campus into a thriving mixed-use neighborhood with residential, commercial and med-tech businesses.

The redevelopment consists of a newly constructed 275,000 square foot distribution facility on 20 acres and represents a new investment of approximately $32,000,000 for site preparation activities, remediation activities, site development, and vertical construction. The redevelopment incorporates many state-of-the-art design elements including a passive vapor mitigation system and highly efficient mechanical and electrical systems monitored by an elaborate network of direct digital controls.

The site was assembled from 80 individual properties. The assemblage was undertaken by Henry Ford Health System over three years and comprised properties owned by private individuals, businesses, and numerous tax-reverted properties owned by the City of Detroit. A number of the properties required processing through the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority in order to provide insurable title. Acquisition of the final parcels included in the project occurred concurrently with final site plan, building design, municipal approval, and Brownfield Incentive approval processes. All these critical approvals occurred during the City of Detroit bankruptcy proceedings, the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history.

The property assemblage contained 23 blighted structures requiring hazardous material surveys, abatement and demolition before redevelopment. These properties included vacant lots, vacant residential homes, commercial parcels, a variety of industrial buildings and properties, and streets and alleyways that would require abandonment.

Former use of the properties included a rail yard, Socony Vacuum Oil Company, White Star Refining Company, junkyards, paint and coatings manufacturing, metal plating, and residential homes. More recently, the property became an attractive nuisance with frequent illegal dumping and scrapping of metal from structures. Illegal dumping resulted in the accumulation of over 4,000 abandoned tires at the property.

The project was initiated in June of 2011 with final municipal approvals received in 2014. Remediation and construction were initiated in April 2014 with the building completed and occupied by Cardinal Health in May 2015.

“This redevelopment represents a significant transformation of blighted, contaminated, and obsolete properties,” said Kashat. “And now, as the Environmental Impact award recipient, this project sets a new bar for similar redevelopment initiatives – it demonstrates the greatness that can be achieved between the private, public, and non-profit sectors working towards a common goal of community revitalization and responsible capitalism.”

“The development team showed uncompromising resolve to see this project to completion,” added Tim McGahey, Vice President of Environmental Due Diligence at AKT Peerless. “It is nice when a Detroit project is nationally recognized by our peers in the redevelopment industry.”

For more information about the 2015 Renewal Awards, visit their website at

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