With the help of a county land bank and a city redevelopment agency, Rylee’s Ace Hardware is planning a new store on the site of an abandoned gas station in Grand Rapids, Mich., according to a report in MLive.com.
Rylee’s president Lori Terpstra, who also operates three other hardware stores, hopes to build a new 10,000 sq. ft. unit by early March, 2013. The project was made possible by the Kent County Land Bank Authority, which decided to buy the property for $65,000-plus in back taxes on Rylee’s behalf before it went to a tax foreclosure auction. Rylee’s put up the money for the land bank acquisition, according to the news report.
“It couldn’t happen without the land bank,” said the land bank agency’s executive director, David Allen. “We were able to assure them they wouldn’t have to go to the auction and compete with an out-of-state bidder.” The land bank, whose mission is to stabilize neighborhood property values, made no profit on the deal.
Because of the former gas station, the site is contaminated with several underground gasoline storage tanks that need removal. Funding from the city’s Economic Development Office and the Environmental Protection Agency will help the Ace dealer recoup the costs of the clean-up, according to the article.