Cardinal Health Center, Detroit, MI

Environmental and Economic Development Services for Construction of Cardinal Health Medical Distribution Center

The Project

The Cardinal Health Medical Distribution Center (Cardinal Health) was developed by KIRCO 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 development was intended by Henry Ford Health System to be the inaugural project for its comprehensive community redevelopment plan which will improve 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 consisted of a newly constructed 275,000 square foot distribution facility on 19.93-acres and represented 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 system of direct digital controls.

The site was assembled from 80 individual properties and 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/properties, and streets and alleys that would require abandonment.  A number of the properties required processing through the Land Bank to quiet title in order to provide an insurable title. Acquisition of the final parcels included in the project occurred concurrently with the 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.

Our Role

Extensive environmental assessments were conducted by the AKT Peerless team during the acquisition and planning phases of the project. AKT Peerless completed Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA), Phase II ESAs and Baseline Environmental Assessments for the Client. Remediation activities included identification and removal of ten underground storage tanks, pumping and disposing of 14,600 gallons of impacted liquids, excavation and disposal of contaminated soil, and design and installation of a sub-slab vapor barrier and ventilation system. In addition, asbestos and other regulated materials were removed from 23 blighted structures prior to demolition.

The Results

AKT Peerless leveraged several sources of economic development incentives which included:

  • Brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF) from a Brownfield Plan and Act 381 Work Plan totaling over $11.9 Million;
  • Community Revitalization Program (CRP) grant of $1 Million;
  • Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE – formerly MDEQ) $1 Million grant and $1.5 Million loan;
  • Detroit Wayne County Port Authority (DWCPA) United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) loan of $915,000; and
  • Industrial Facilities property tax abatement.


These incentives were utilized to support redevelopment activities and resulted in the following awards:

  • 2014 Phoenix Award Region 5 for Best Brownfield Project in USEPA Region 5
  • 2015 USEPA Brownfields Conference People’s Choice Award
  • 2014 Phoenix Award Grand Prize for Best Brownfield Project in the Country
  • 2015 Redevelopment and Renewal Award Environmental Impact


AKT Peerless worked closely with the City of Detroit, Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (DBRA), the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), EGLE, USEPA and DWCPA to support this award winning project.

Add Us to Your Team Today