Ventower Industries

111 Borchert Park Drive, Monroe, Michigan

1. Please provide a brief overview of the project.

Goal: The overall goal of the project was to transform a former industrial waste landfill site into the home of a green energy manufacturer, Ventower Industries, which is a full-service fabricator and supplier of industrial scale wind turbine towers. Furthermore, each project stakeholder had individual goals within that overarching goal:

  • Ventower: to construct a 115,000 square-foot wind turbine tower manufacturing plant in a location served by rail, highway and port; and overcome the construction and environmental obstacles posed by the site, which happened to be a former industrial waste landfill;
  • Port of Monroe: to catalyze development of its industrial park, which is located on the landfill, and mitigate environmental risks posed by the contaminated wastes/fill;
  • City of Monroe: to create high-wage manufacturing jobs and increased tax base; and
  • State of Michigan regulatory agency and U.S. EPA: to successfully use brownfield redevelopment funding to support the successful (job creation, economic activity and taxes) and protective (mitigation of human health and environmental risks) development of a brownfield site.

The industrial park and Ventower Industries also is part of the City of Monroe's and Port of Monroe's ongoing commitment to return former brownfield sites to productive new uses. Other efforts have included the River Raisin National Battlefield Park, the only former brownfield site to be added to the National Park System, and the 300-home, Mason Run new urbanism, residential neighborhood development. Both projects are located on the sites of former large paper mills that were within one mile of the Ventower site.

Location: Port of Monroe, Monroe, Michigan.

Approximate Size: 28 acres

Former Use: The site was part of an industrial waste landfill that operated from the 1940s until the mid-1970s. The landfill was used to reclaim Lake Erie coastal wetlands to expand the Port of Monroe and its industrial park in the era before modern environmental laws and regulations. Actual End Use: The site is now home to a new 115,000 square-foot, $22 million manufacturing facility for utilityscale wind turbine towers. Date the project was completed: Construction was completed in December 2011. Production is now underway.

Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc.,
43980 Plymouth Oaks Blvd., Plymouth, Michigan

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