The City of Saline took another step toward the development of its Maple Road property at the Aug. 5 city council meeting.
Council voted to authorize an application for environmental assessment funding for 600 Maple Road and two adjoining parcels. Livonia Builders, the company that built Torwood subdivision, wants to build a high-end, 72-unit apartment complex called “The Corinthian” on the 6.4 acre site at 600 N. Maple Rd. The property was once home to the DPW, police department, the senior center and county court house. Livonia Builders plans to spend $6.5 million on the development. The total acreage to be assessed is 10 acres.
The company has requested Phase I and Phase II environmental assessments be conducted on the property. The company is also seeking a Baseline Environment Assessment, which allows people to purchase or begin operations without being held liable for existing contamination.
The anticipated cost for the assessments is $15,000 to $20,000, which would be covered by a grant made possible by the city’s membership in the Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.
The assessments can also be helpful should a Brownfield Tax Increment Financing Plan be adopted to support environmental remediation and site development.
Assessments conducted in 2011 showed the site contains higher than mandated amounts arsenic, mercury and selenium at various locations on the property. The study also showed groundwater may be impacted. Excessive fill may require structures have special foundations. The previous studies were conducted by a private developer and the full results were not shared with the city. Nathan Vogt, economic development specialist for the Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, said it will be to the city’s advantage to have full access to all the data.
“That way you own the documents and you can be apprised of the challenges,” Vogt said. “If a developer is ready to do something, they can work with you to come up with a plan to develop the property.”
A Phase 1 environmental assessment is conducted on paper. Phase 2 takes what is learned and phase 1 to do borings in certain locations.
The new development would generate an estimated $200,000 in property taxes each year, according to the brownfield application.