On the AMC Headquarters Tax Incentive Approval

June 28, 2022

On the AMC Headquarters Approval

On June 21, 2022 Detroit City Council approved the tax incentives for the AMC HQ project. Residents collected over 100 signatures requesting council address concerns and request a Community Benefit Agreement with the developer.  

Detroit City Council,

I am providing this statement today in response to Council’s recent vote on the AMC Brownfield. I want to reiterate today that the residents did not want to STOP the project in District 7. We simply desire a transparent relationship with the AMC Developers and need our city council to be more committed to protecting the health and environment of neighboring residents. As documented in my original statement, likely harms to residents include:

Diesel Truck Pollution

  • The concentration and proximity of diesel trucks and the warehousing facilities that service them threatens the health of people living and working near busy roads and logistics facilities. The trucks and trains that carry freight to be warehoused (and trucks idling engines at or near warehouse sites) pollute by emitting small toxic particles called particulate matter (PM) into the air.
  • BIPOC children are disproportionately impacted by health problems related to diesel truck pollution, including but not limited to stunted lung development and asthma.
  • Particulate emissions from diesel vehicles and equipment also contribute to health problems that disproportionately harms communities of color including cardiovascular problems, cancer, decreased lung function and capacity, reproductive health problems, and premature death.
  • Local, state, and federal laws have not kept pace with the proliferation of warehouse facilities and as a result, there are little existing regulations for pollution from warehouse-related traffic.

Construction vibrations

  • A known nuisance that can damage existing residential structures.
  • Poses significant risk to Detroit’s aged housing stock and senior homeowners who already have a great existing need for home repair resources.

Quality of Life Impacts

  • Beyond health threats from the transportation of freight, warehouses are also associated with negative impacts on residents’ quality of life. Residents often feel a sense that they are losing their community to encroachment by warehouses and kept in the dark about what is being stored in facilities near their homes. Trucks servicing the facilities park and idle on public streets, sometimes using streets as “staging areas” because a warehouse property is over capacity or does not provide adequate on-site parking.

Impacts on Residential Roads

  • There are also safety concerns as residents share roads not originally designed for heavy vehicles with lines of trucks.

Misalignment with Community Need

  • Warehouse centers deprive local communities of land that could be used for future green space, schools and public buildings, and new residential, retail, and commercial centers. The gap in fair taxation for this business activity as a result of tax abatements and incentives well into the future means that the immediate economic benefits will accrues to the investors and owners of the business – while local residents bear the brunt of its negative impacts. Industrial entities do not generally show up as good neighbors in community and District 7 is already an unfortunate example of what happens to neighborhoods oversaturated by these facilities and their operations.

…among other quality of life impacts

In response to the developers “environmental analysis” and mitigation strategy presented to Council, the undersigned residents are still asking for the following:

  1. To promote and ensure transparency, a pre- and post-construction environmental impact analysis. This analysis should be made public.
  2. In order to promote and ensure transparency - in addition to number one as described above, residents are also requesting a copy of the BSEED response to the developer’s analysis (as was discussed during Thursday’s PED meeting)
  3. To promote and ensure transparency - in addition to number one and number two as described above, residents are also asking that a “conflict of interest “assessment be requested by the city with regard to the relationship between the developer and the consultants who completed the pre and post construction environmental impact analysis.
  4. FREE Home Air Filters and Air Quality monitoring systems for every home in the impact area. The impact area should be defined by the following boundaries: Schoolcraft North, Cheyenne East, Whitcomb West, Chicago South. The census tracts encompassed within these boundaries are: 535100; 535200; 535300; 537200; 537800; and 537300. Boundaries encompassing all of the census tracts above are illustrated in the attached map.
    1. See also the “Impact Area Map” attached to this email. Residents in the prescribed area should be able to request these items free of charge either from the city or from the Developer directly before, during, and after the construction period.
  5. Home Repair- dollars allocated specifically for homeowners in the impact area as defined by number four above and the attached impact area map. The developer should complete an analysis of the average cost for home repair for the closest homeowners in the area and commit to paying up to the average cost of home repair for every homeowner in the impact area.
  6. Small Business Development- dollars allocated specifically for marginalized, locally based, small business owners who would like to locate new businesses on Plymouth Road.

When Detroiters went to the polls in 2016 to vote on the CBA ordinance, residents in District 7 voted for Proposal A, the ordinance that gave residents more power in the process. Council President Sheffield supported community in the effort for D7’s preferred CBA ordinance in 2016.  The current proposal for “community benefits” pales in comparison to the public tax benefit that this developer is getting for this project and the more than 100 undersigned residents are committed to continuing to organize and advocate for these protections and to hold elected officials and North Point developer accountable.

Thank you.

Wendy Caldwell-Liddell
District 7 Resident