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Ford Earns Award For Turning Brownfield Green


Ford Motor Company’s Fairlane Green retail and recreational development, today received the national Phoenix Award for excellence in brownfield development.

The Phoenix Award recognizes projects that remediate environmentally challenged sites while stimulating economic development.

“It is an honor to receive the Phoenix Award for Fairlane Green,” said Sean McCourt, Ford Land chairman. “This project demonstrates how responsible developments can yield corporate, community and environmental benefits.”

The award was presented at the National Brownfields Conference held May 5-7 in Detroit. The conference is hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the International City/County Management Association.

Fairlane Green is a 243-acre retail and recreational center built over the Ford Motor Company-owned Allen Park Clay Mine Landfill.

Since 2002, Ford Land, the company’s real estate arm, has been working to transform the once idle landfill into a sustainable new development that provides social and economic benefit to the community in an environmentally responsible manner.


Sustainability is at the heart of Fairlane Green. The development not only reuses the landfill property, it preserves more land than it develops. In all, nearly two-thirds of the site will be natural green space, including prairie fields, ponds, trails and a future 43-acre park surrounding one million square feet of shops and restaurants.

Furthermore, the buildings on the site feature the latest in green design and construction. Fairlane Green Phase I is the first multi-tenant retail development to earn gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Environmental characteristics include high efficiency, CFC-free heating and cooling equipment, white reflective roofing, low-emitting materials, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, recycled and locally sourced building materials, windows and skylights, and a cistern to capture and re-use rain water.

More visible examples of the site’s environmental mission include large prairie fields and extensive native landscaping in parking lots, entryways, along store fronts and up the sides of buildings. Native plants require less irrigation and fertilizer while providing wildlife habitat. Additionally, rock gardens and landscaped swales cleanse and slow the flow of stormwater, which is captured in several large ponds.

Fairlane Green’s wide paved trails wind through prairies, along the ponds and through the mature woods bordering the site. Plans for the 43-acre park are underway and may include sledding, playscapes and nature study.


* Fairlane Green features a number of innovative firsts that set it apart from traditional retail and brownfield developments including:
* It is the country’s largest retail development built on a landfill and the largest landfill redevelopment in the state of Michigan.
* It is the first development in Michigan to use a three-dimensional legal description to separate the landfill from the surface development. This allows Ford to retain landfill ownership and responsibility while selling the surface to owners and developers.
* In 2002, it received what was at the time the largest Tax Increment Financing (TIF) package ever offered by the state. The TIF covers brownfield-related development costs – measures to reduce settlement, protect the landfill cap, reinforce slopes and construct utilities.
* Fairlane Green is one of the first vertical construction projects built on Styrofoam-like blocks called geofoam. Traditionally used in bridge construction, geofoam’s light weight reduces the potential for future settlement.

The City of Allen Park, Wayne County and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) provided support for the development.

Retailers include Target, Meijer, The Home Depot, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Michael’s, Old Navy and Pier 1 Imports among others.


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