Maple Block Flats project takes another step forward with county approval

PETOSKEY — A plan to turn the former Michigan Maple Block site into residential units took another step forward on Monday when the Emmet County Board of Commissioners gave their approval to the project’s Brownfield plan.

According to the state’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, “Brownfield properties are those in which the redevelopment or reuse of the property may be complicated by the presence or perception of contamination.”

Michigan Maple Block “checks all of the boxes,” said Mac McClelland, representative for the developer Great Lakes Capital.

“It’s a large industrial facility that has significant asbestos in it and requires a significant amount of demolition, over $1 million worth of demolition in that case,” McClelland told the commissioners on Monday.

 
 
The former site of the Michigan Maple Block Co., which closed down in 2020, sits on about 12 acres of land which will be used as the location of a new, high-density apartment complex.

More: High-density apartment complex coming to former Maple Block Co. site

The property, located at 1420 Standish Ave. in Petoskey, also has relatively widespread environmental contamination due to fill materials used in past historic operations, unstable soils that require special foundations, and a potential for vapor intrusion.

“It really has the full gamut, all of the issues that are in place,” McClelland said.

The project is also intended to help address housing needs in the area. The plan calls for seven residential buildings and a commercial building to be built on the property. A total of 204 units would be created, with half of those going at market rate and the other half falling within AMI (area median income) limitations.

Jeff Smoke of Great Lakes Capital said “at least 50 percent of those units are based off the (MI State Housing Development Authority) AMI guidelines, so approximately trying to keep that one-bedroom under $1,200.”

The project has already received significant funding from the state level, with millions of dollars received from grants.

Michigan Maple Block Co. closed down in 2020 due to challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michigan Maple Block Co. closed down in 2020 due to challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project also requires that the Brownfield plan be approved by the involved entities. Tammy Doernenburg, Brownfield Redevelopment Authority secretary for Emmet County, said the City of Petoskey and the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority have already approved the plan.

“Last meeting, you authorized a public hearing for the Maple Block Flats Brownfield plan,” Doernenburg said. “That plan was presented to you and an introduction to that plan was made. That plan has not changed since that meeting. It’s been on the website and then we notified and provided the plan to all the taxing jurisdictions on Oct. 23, which it’s required to be provided to them at least 10 days before the meeting.”

A public hearing is also required, which allowed the commissioners “the opportunity to review the plan and assure that it will have a public benefit for our community,” Doernenburg added.

Two residents spoke during the public hearing. The commissioners also asked several questions of McClelland and the Great Lakes Capital representatives.

Ultimately, the commissioners voted 6-1 to approve the plan, with commissioner Charles Laughbaum voting no.

The next Emmet County Board of Commissioners meeting is at 6 p.m. on Nov. 16.

— Contact Jillian Fellows at jfellows@petoskeynews.com.  

This article originally appeared on The Petoskey News-Review: Maple Block Flats proposal in Petoskey takes step forward

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Martin Huttenlocker

Development Manager

Leveraging 17 years of relationships and extensive background in the commercial real estate industry, Martin provides direct strategic and analytical support as part of the Great Lakes Capital development team. Since joining the firm in 2017 he has performed a hybrid role in asset management and brokerage services within the GLC portfolio. Martin earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Missouri/Columbia and an MBA from Roosevelt University in Chicago.