Builders and planners are gathering in Detroit to discuss funding options for brownfield redevelopment and learn from region's experience transforming these community eyesores.
"Stanley Rich remembers when ash fell from the sky like snow, coating his car and house with gray powder.
The trash incinerator that spewed ash in Clinton Township was shut down in 1999. All that's left are a vacant field and questions about what chemicals may lurk beneath the surface.
"It was ugly," said Rich, 80. "I would love to see something go in there."
Rich and his neighbors near Quinn Road may get their wishes as a nonprofit group aims to turn the property into affordable housing for seniors and grandparents raising grandchildren. A golf course also is planned.
The site is among hundreds of parcels, built upon in the distant past and often left polluted, called brownfields. These properties are found throughout metro Detroit, but they are being cleaned up and put back into productive use thanks, in part, to a variety of tax credits, government grants and other aid aimed at revitalizing older urban areas."