Brownfield Flip: Harbor Shores Golf Course in Benton Harbor
Brownfield Flip: Harbor Shores Golf Course in Benton Harbor

– [Susan Wenzlick] Brownfields,
we’ve all seen them. The abandoned gas station on the corner, the vacant, contaminated industrial site. This video series is
about the partnerships that make brownfield
redevelopment possible. This is Brownfield Flip. [upbeat jazz music] – [Fred Upton] So close to the lake,
so close to two rivers, really intersecting, and just ugly. At some point you could
actually see tumbleweed going down the main
street of Benton Harbor just because people had fled. You know, for us here
locally in the Twin Cities I mean, this all was what we thought would be a prime site
but it was contaminated. [upbeat jazz music] – [Dan Fette] So then the question becomes, you know, how do you manage the land appropriately to try to bring some
value to the community, both new taxable value and new jobs, and also use the land in a way that members of the community
would want to be close to it. You know, you can’t develop a plan and then throw it out to the public and say, “this is what we want to do.” The conclusion that we
all kind of fell upon was that it’d be useful as a golf course or recreational property
because some of it just couldn’t be redeveloped. This property has a taxable value now of somewhere around 25
to 26 million dollars. It’s growing every year. [upbeat jazz music] – [Bob McFeeter]The people have seen what this project has done and it’s attracting more and more people. Other investors have come into the town that bought those properties and now they’re redeveloping some
of those derelict buildings back into apartments,
or into retail areas. We would like to think that’s part of the Harbor Shores’ project process. That’s what it’s got. – And now you look, we actually have a PGA senior tournament that
now comes every two years, tens of thousands of people. It’s a public course,
it’s not a private one. Anyone can play here. – A project like this being a nonprofit, incentives are really critical. I work very closely with the DEQ and through their programs
they cleaned up a lot of the areas within the Harbor Shores’ district project area. – Through the EPA’s state programs administered by the DEQ, we
got a one million dollar loan for cleanup purposes and
then one million dollar grant from the DEQ for cleanup purposes, an additional one million dollar loan, and the EPA also provided
us with a $200,000 assessment grant which formed the basis of a lot of the environmental assessment that was done do begin with. So all told, it was $3.2 million. Spent $150 million in
private investment here. There’s been $30 million invested just in the environmental
remediation of it. – We had wetlands and stream mitigation, flood plan and flood way mitigation. We had to build new roads,
we had to vacate roads, and we also then built public walkways all the way through that land. It’s what we thought was very important for the community, to have public access to the water fronts. – This is a place where you want to live. This is a place where you want to raise your family, it’s beautiful. Kayak spot literally 100 yards from here. I mean, it’s filled with
people during the summer. Bike trails, walking, you’re just seeing a real investment in the future and it all came because
we worked together. Shows what happens when government can work together
instead of pulling apart. [upbeat jazz music] – Hi, I’m Susan Wenzlick,
a brownfield coordinator with the Department of
Environmental Quality. If you enjoyed hearing about this brownfield project, you can learn more about this and other brownfield success stories on our website. Thanks for watching and stay tuned for another episode of Brownfield Flip.

6 thoughts on “Brownfield Flip: Harbor Shores Golf Course in Benton Harbor”

  1. imwearingcons says:

    Good for Benton Harbor, perhaps. Good for the PEOPLE of Benton Harbor, not necessary.

  2. imwearingcons says:

    Also, I have lived here for 12 years, but there is a lot of misleading information. For example: the walkways and paths that we're promised…..just cart paths. Try going for a bike ride as a family only to have golf carts come flying around a blind corner.

  3. Michigan USA/Singapore S.E.Asia says:

    Nice now

  4. Barry Brann says:

    Diamond Walt till i see you lms

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