Downtown Campus for Whirlpool Corporation

660 W. Main, Benton Harbor, Michigan

Please provide a brief overview of the project.

Whirlpool Corporation redeveloped a brownfield site in downtown Benton Harbor for its new Downtown Campus. The project is located at 660 West Main in Benton Harbor on 11.5 acres. The site historically was used for a variety of commercial uses, including a gasoline service station, automobile sales and maintenance and similar uses.

Immediately prior to redevelopment of the site, the buildings were largely empty, with limited use at the west end of the facility. The site was contaminated with benzene (a petroleum compound) in the groundwater and metals in the soil. Whirlpool completed the first phase of the project in 2012, which is approximately 95,000 sq. feet of office space for its Downtown Campus.

The total investment for the improvements was nearly $30 million. The goal of the project was to retain Whirlpool jobs in Benton Harbor.

In particular, this project retained approximately 275 jobs, at an average weekly wage of approximately $2,454. The project also provided redevelopment of an underutilized, brownfield site in downtown Benton Harbor, an old industrial city that has suffered significant economic downturns in the last 40 years. The unemployment rate in the City of Benton Harbor is 25% and there are numerous abandoned industrial operations. This project was completed in mid 2012.

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP,
900 Fifth Third Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan

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