Progress toward the demolition of the vacant Georgetown Mall on Packard St. seems to be on the horizon as Washtenaw County has already worked with DTE to relocate power lines on the property, and is prepared to proceed with demolition and environmental cleanup work as soon as the property developer is ready.
"The county has selected its contractor to do the grant-related work," says Washtenaw County
Economic Development Specialist Nathan Voght. "Our contractor is under contract and ready to go. We will give him a notice to proceed once we know the non-grant funded work is also under contract and ready to proceed."
Washtenaw County has been working with the city of Ann Arbor to help redevelop the property for more than two years. The site has been approved as a Brownfield Redevelopment project, giving the developer tax increment financing incentives to assist with the cost of redeveloping the contaminated site.
In addition, Washtenaw County has received a $1 million Clean Michigan Initiative Grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
to assist with demolition and soil remediation. Release of these funds is contingent on a signed contract between the private developer, Craig Schubiner of Bloomfield Hills-based firm Harbor Georgetown.
Once Schubiner has reached an agreement with a contractor for work not covered by the grant, the grant-funded work can begin. Voght estimates the grant work of demolition and soil remediation will take three to four months.
After this process is complete, work on the planned Packard Square development, an approximately $48 million mix of apartments and retail, is set to begin. According to the site's Brownfied Redevelopment plan, the development will create at least 45 new jobs.
While many people are certainly looking forward to the Packard Square redevelopment process to move forward, Voght says those living in the neighborhoods around the Georgetown Mall are likely the most excited.
"For those neighborhoods, it's been a commercial center, a place where they all shopped," he says. "I think they were disappointed to see it deteriorate, and are looking forward to seeing something new there."
Source: Nathan Voght, Washtenaw County
Writer: Natalie Burg