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Flint Industrial Investment

In February 2021, we applied for a Brownfield Tax Credit on the former DuPont industrial park which I purchased in 2015. In 2018, I organized a buy out of the original (failed) partnership to make certain that the good environmental work and improvements that were started would not stall out. So many projects in Flint and economically and environmentally distressed cities like Flint stall, because it is simply more expensive to do "brownfield projects" than it is to do 'greenfield projects'.

What does this mean and why?

A greenfield project is taking a fresh cornfield or undeveloped land and paving it, building new buildings on it, laying new infrastructure - roads, sewers and power lines - all things which cost the municipalities money. These are shared costs by communities wishing to attract jobs and industry and 'growth'. The problem is these cost society too - States and Federal government. Basically it costs taxpayers, US.

The other problem is greenfield development costs nature. It costs the deer who once lived in that cornfield. The farmer may be happy, he sells his agricultural land for a higher price to an industrial developer, but society actually gets poorer - in my opinion, because less nature means more water, air and land pollution.

It is far better to redevelop "Brownfield Sites" or land like I own in Flint, Lansing, Lapeer and Pontiac. These former developed and often urban areas already have sunk invested costs from the municipalities in power, sewer etc. But because of the often in fighting and disfunction in the local governments, the request to utilize these sites is harder work. Working with an enviromentally contaminated piece of land has new risks to the developer. It takes more time (time is money), more thought and brain power (consultants fees) and more engineering to work around things that already exist.

The (greenfield) communities are often more welcoming to development, and developers - they roll out the red carpet, create streamlined processes and have not yet been burned by past developments which maybe didn't deliver on promises or such other 'bad blood'.

Its understandable why more development happens in greenfield's and why our world is becoming less environmentally stable.

What DIRT is trying to do, at least to do our part, is to develop the harder to work with parcels of land. We are fighting the good fight and trying to work with communities which have environmentally decayed property, and move it in a more positive direction. Its harder work, honestly it is less profitable, and it is lonely... the name calling and BS is hard to stomach sometimes.

Be the change you wish to see in the world... ?

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