This former agricultural site was developed in 1970 for lumber Wolmanizing® operations. As part of these operations, lumber was pressure treated with a solution containing chromic acid, cupric oxide, and arsenic pentoxide. In 1995, the facility ceased operations and became vacant. Soon thereafter, the property was leased to various tenants for storage purposes.
In 2016, Metal Mechanics, Inc., a manufacturer of hydraulic presses in Schoolcraft, was growing and needed to expand. With the support of the Kalamazoo County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (KCBRA), Metal Mechanics constructed a 30,000-square-foot building on this site. The site was identified as a “facility” (due to soil and groundwater contamination) because of its historic use as a lumber Wolmanizing® operation. The KCBRA, Kalamazoo County, and the Village of Schoolcraft approved a Brownfield Plan that allowed for the reimbursement of $65,000 in “eligible activities” back to Metal Mechanics through tax increment financing over 11 years. Some of the eligible activities included site demolition, management of contaminated soil, and installation of a sub-slab depressurization system. This project is a win for all those involved: A brownfield has been redeveloped, the property is back on the tax rolls, jobs have been created, and the known environmental issues related to the site are understood and safely controlled.