EPA grants will help in cleanup, testing at Chevy in the Hole property

Aug 23, 2013

Kettering University owns a portion of the Chevy in the Hole property, which is included in the $350,000 in funding received by the county.

Representatives from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented Genesee County with funding to assist in testing, cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield properties, including the ‘Chevy in the Hole’ property adjacent to the Kettering University campus.

Representatives from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented Genesee County with funding to assist in testing, cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield properties, including the ‘Chevy in the Hole’ property adjacent to the Kettering University campus. Kettering University owns a portion of the Chevy in the Hole property, located at the corner of Bluff Street and Chevrolet Avenue, which is included in the $350,000 in funding received by the county. The funding is part of $15 million nationwide given to 41 communities to assist with cleanup and redevelopment projects on properties designated brownfields – former industrial sites where future development is hindered because of past contamination that must be cleaned up before redevelopment can occur.

“Now with the EPA Brownfield Grants and the plan that has been developed for the site - the city, the county, Kettering University, and EPA are working together to make Chevy in the Hole an asset once again rather than an impediment to development of surrounding neighborhoods.” EPA Region 5 Administrator Dr. Susan Hedman said.

Kettering is currently in the process of securing funding to build an automotive proving ground and research facility on its portion of the Chevy in the Hole property. It would serve as an educational facility for students as well as a venue for industry partners to conduct product research and testing.

“This proving ground would not only offer immense benefits to our students and to companies, it would also serve as an innovative model for brownfield redevelopment nationwide,” said Kettering University President Robert K. McMahan. “This project makes productive use of land in Chevy in the Hole, and it does so while also making that land economically viable.”

The Chevy in the Hole property is significant historically in Flint as the site of the famous Flint sit-down strike in 1936, but its redevelopment is also of vital importance to Flint’s future.

“We have a vision for this area to become clean and green and healthy and productive again,” Flint Mayor Dayne Walling said. “And with all of us working together, especially our immediate neighbor, Kettering University, who pulled some of the properties on the north side of the river, I’m confident that we can make this vision a reality.”

Much of Chevy in the Hole falls in the University Corridor, the area along the Flint River stretching from McLaren Regional Medical Center and Kettering University, past Hurley Medical Center, to downtown Flint and the University of Michigan-Flint. The University Corridor Alliance includes Kettering, McLaren, UM-Flint and Hurley, institutions within the community who are partnering to create a walkable region that connects the area’s higher education, healthcare and community residents with the growing, vibrant downtown.

Kettering and the city of Flint are in the process of finalizing a transfer agreement for Atwood Stadium, which will enable the preservation and continuing operation of the historic facility located in the heart of the University Corridor. Kettering University projects within the University Corridor include the renovation of a former convenience store at the corner of University and Chevrolet avenues into an Einstein Bros. Bagels and Flint Police Service Station, which was completed with the help of an investment from the C.S. Mott Foundation in March 2013. Other projects within the corridor that Kettering University has contributed to include construction of an outdoor learning facility adjacent to the Flint Children’s Museum, construction of the Innovation Center building on Bluff Street and construction of a new fraternity house for Sigma Alpha Epsilon on University Avenue. Members of the Kettering Community regularly participate in community cleanups in the area and have also helped with painting and cleanup of structures within the area.

“The EPA’s continued investment in Genesee County to ensure sites like Chevy in the Hole are prepared for redevelopment is extremely encouraging,” McMahan said. “Our campus and surrounding area within the University Corridor and the city of Flint are growing and developing, signifying a bright future for this city and this region.”