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County OKs Kingsford brownfield plan

PROPERTY OWNER BRAD STAEDT of RR Downtown LLC of Iron Mountain wants to turn the former Lake Shore Systems Inc. property at 900 W. Breitung Ave. into 30 apartments and a banquet hall. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — A brownfield project that would convert former office buildings in Kingsford into apartments and a banquet hall gained approval Monday from the Dickinson County Board.

Property owner Brad Staedt of RR Downtown LLC of Iron Mountain proposes improvements totaling about $2.5 million at 900 W. Breitung Ave., said Tony Edlebeck, Kingsford city manager and a member of the Dickinson County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

Developers of brownfield sites can be reimbursed for eligible environmental costs with their own property taxes, Edlebeck explained. About $650,000 of Staedt’s investment is expected to qualify, he said.

Commissioner Joe Stevens was pleased with the plan, saying brownfield incentives could become a tool for projects across the county.

“We all know housing is a critical part of our concern in recruiting skilled workers and in general,” he said.

The plan calls for 30 apartments of various sizes in the former Lake Shore Systems complex. A former manufacturing building and warehouse on the 8-acre site will be turned into an event venue to include a bar, warming kitchen, restrooms and other amenities.

Portions of the buildings will be demolished. Some of the work will include asbestos and lead removal, Edlebeck said.

The property, which formerly housed Oldenburg Group Inc. that became Lake Shore Systems, has been vacant for about nine years after Oldenburg moved to a new facility at 2141 Woodward Ave. in Kingsford.

Kingsford City Council last month designated the West Breitung property as a Commercial Rehabilitation District, which provides a tax exemption for qualified businesses that are repurposed.

The county board Monday unanimously approved the six-page brownfield plan, prepared with the aid of Mountain Engineering Inc. of Kingsford.

The Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance will host a brownfield workshop Feb. 11 at Bay College West in Iron Mountain.

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