The Michigan DEQ wrapped up a week-long tour across the U.P. Friday by taking a look at the brownfield redevelopment site at Founders Landing.
Founders Landing used to house many large tanks filled with millions of gallons of fuel, which contributed to groundwater and soil contamination. The landing is considered a brownfield redevelopment site, which is any property that has been blighted by former industrial use.
“A lot of times, that involves contamination of soil or groundwater,” DEQ environmental analyst Steve Harrington said. “In this case, there was, in fact, soil and groundwater contamination and the state did launch into a cleanup of that material, which was primarily located on the northern end of the site. The state spent just over $1 million addressing that contamination so that the site could be used.”
The clean up and development of Founders Landing has been a great boon to the city in regards to environment, economy and recreation. Looking to the future, Harrington and the DEQ are excited to continue development of Founders Landing to include more commercial ventures.
“I’m really anxious to see the remaining portion of the development occur. There’s to be a mixed commercial, office space and convention center, I believe, in this northernmost area of the property,” Harrington said, motioning to the area just north of the Hampton Inn. “There would be shops and various retail establishments located there. I think that’ll be a big asset to drawing additional people to the downtown.”
The tour began on the U.P.’s east end — where DEQ director Dan Wyant toured a synthetic skating rink being built in Newberry — and continued with a visit to the Humboldt Mill before coming through Marquette.