June 25–BAY CITY, Mich. — A vacant lot that has been festering for nearly four decades on Bay City’s historic Center Avenue will soon be given new life.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality awarded Bay City a $200,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant to revitalize the former Fletcher Oil Co. gas station, 1113 Center Avenue.
Developer Jenifer Acosta is spearheading the redevelopment project, located in the Center Avenue Historic District, the second largest historic district in the state. Plans call for a three-story, six-unit apartment that resembles a historic French mansard mansion. There will be four one-bedroom units that feature one bath and a den. Two smaller units would feature a bed and bath.
Acosta said the cleanup grant allows her team to start construction this fall. Remediation would start this summer.
Before construction can begin, cleanup crews must assess and mitigate environmental contamination and demolish the gas station’s foundation and pavement remains from the previously demolished building, MDEQ officials said in a statement.
The site has been vacant since the late 1980s. Environmental reports from 1989-1991 showed that storage tanks underneath the property had leaked gasoline, which likely contaminated the surrounding soil.
Acosta’s husband, Anthony Acosta, who owns the company Distressed Designs, will help design the building. About $850,000 is being invested into the project.
The design will have a “classic” and “timeless” feel, along with Distressed Design’s handcrafted industrial elements, Acosta has said.
The Bay City Planning Commission earlier this month unanimously approved site plans for the project. In March, the Bay City Historic District Commission, on a 4-0 vote, approved the project with a provision that Acosta submits a list of materials she’s using for the exterior of the building, such as the types of window and shingles.
Acosta said rent prices would be comparable to nicer home rentals in those neighborhoods and less than downtown rents.
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