Traverse City Record-Eagle


April 27, 2014

New TBA Credit Union nearing its completion

TRAVERSE CITY — Karen Browne hopes the TBA Credit Union’s new three-story building on Front Street is viewed as a “gateway to Traverse City.”

Browne, TBA’s chief executive officer, said construction of the $7 million regional headquarters represents a huge step forward for the financial institution. The project consolidates two branches and administrative offices for a credit union that now serves more than 14,000 Grand Traverse region residents.

A brownfield redevelopment designation also means the project rehabilitated a pair of polluted lots near Grand Traverse Bay.

“We cleaned up this site that has been here for years as an eyesore,” Browne said. “We view it as a huge community improvement.”

Design and construction firm Burdco oversaw building. Burdco President Mike Brown said the 20,000-square-foot building with basement features stringent energy efficient measures, elaborate masonry and a unique exterior feel that will make it stand out.

“The owner made a significant commitment to this site,” Brown said. “They are looking at being moved in sometime in July.”

The project required a $1 million loan from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The Grand Traverse County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will reimburse the credit union about $1.2 million spent on building demolition, cleanup and other environmentally protective measures. The project cleans soil contaminated by leaking underground gas and waste oil tanks from an old gas station.

The DEQ agreed to let the prior owner, Blarney Castle Oil Co., leave the petroleum-based contamination undisturbed. The company also did not have to pay for the cleanup, despite accepting liability for the property in a 2009 consent judgment with the DEQ.

Construction of the TBA building removed 7,478 tons of contaminated soil. Nearly 20 million gallons of contaminated ground water was treated and discharged, including pulling contaminants from beneath Front Street. A Coreflex waterproofing vapor barrier liner was installed around the building foundation.

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