Developers bought the property and redeveloped the land at 6993 Moscone Road in Utica into a sports complex with the help of a grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. The complex will have a full-size baseball field and include batting cages indoors.

Developers bought the property and redeveloped the land at 6993 Moscone Road in Utica into a sports complex with the help of a grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. The complex will have a full-size baseball field and include batting cages indoors.

Photo by Deb Jacques


New sports complex to replace longtime brownfield site

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published January 6, 2020

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UTICA — A redevelopment has begun in downtown Utica at 6993 Moscone Road, which was once an unlicensed landfill contaminated with around 19 feet of garbage under the ground.

Developers bought the property and redeveloped the land from a past landfill into a sports complex with the help of a grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, formerly known as the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Nick Assendelft, media relations and public information officer for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, said the department awarded the city of Utica funds to be put toward the remediation project.

“The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy granted the city of Utica $499,000 to address environmental risks at the site of a former unlicensed landfill so the property could be redeveloped for safe use by the public,” he said in an email.

The project is near completion and will soon be operational. The location will now open as a sports complex that offers programs for youth.

In order to open the complex, the developers needed to do extensive work to the property to ensure that the landfill was taken care of properly.

SME engineering consultants group in Shelby Township brought the request forward for the developers. An application for the state grant through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy required the support of the Utica City Council.

The City Council approved a request Sept. 11 to support the application for the grant to assist with the proposed development of the sports complex next to Jimmy John’s Field at the Moscone Road address.

Now the development is approaching completion with a new look and a safer property. A grand opening is projected to occur in March.

The sports complex will primarily cater to baseball and softball players and teams, but it will not be limited to just those sports.

Assendelft said that EGLE supported major removal of hazardous waste and other materials that can be dangerous if not properly disposed of, and EGLE’s budget supports communities that work on projects like this one.

“EGLE-supported efforts at the site included hazardous materials abatement, waste removal and disposal, and vapor mitigation. Efforts targeted methane contamination, among other dangerous materials. Methane from old landfills poses a high risk of vapor intrusion for future developments. More than half of EGLE’s budget each year flows into Michigan communities to support local projects, protect public health and the environment, and create economic growth and jobs for Michigan workers.”

He said that when brownfields are redeveloped, it can positively affect the properties around them and the city’s overall outlook.

“When brownfields are redeveloped, property values increase on the revitalized site and on other nearby properties. The current state equalized value of the Utica property is $92,900, and it is expected to increase to $1.3 million following redevelopment,” said Assendelft.

Utica City Councilman Gus Calandrino said the redevelopment will be a major improvement to the city of Utica.

“The new youth sports training facility, On Deck Circle, is a major success for the city of Utica. It was funded completely through private resources and brownfield remediation grant money. It didn’t cost the Utica taxpayers anything, and the result is a beautiful new facility in place of one of the most blighted areas that once scarred our downtown,” he said in an email.

The new facility is located just down the road from the baseball field, which was once also a landfill.

“The new facility will be a perfect fit as a sports training center, as it’s located adjacent to Jimmy John’s Field,” Calandrino said.

Calandrino said that working with the developers throughout the whole process has been simple.

“The owners of the new facility were a delight to work with and really seem to care about Utica. They are a welcome addition to all that Utica has to offer,” said Calandrino.

For more information on the project, call the city at (586) 739-1600.

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