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A Better Partnership

Kurt M. Brauer

Partner | Email

  • Detroit

    t. +1.313.546.6182

    f. +1.313.263.6855

    m. +1.248.320.0207


Kurt Brauer assists clients with environmental, economic development and real estate matters across a number of industries, including the agribusiness, automotive, industrial, resource-use, energy, mining and real estate development sectors. His expertise includes representing clients in all manner of environmental issues, including regulatory compliance, site investigation, cleanup and closure, solid and hazardous waste, due diligence, permitting, wetland and critical habitat protection, permitting and mitigation and adaptive reuse. He also has broad expertise in identifying, securing and monetizing federal, state and local economic development incentives to facilitate the use and adaptive reuse of properties, and has helped numerous clients secure brownfield redevelopment and business expansion incentive packages. 
Kurt is a “boots on the ground” attorney who represents farmers and food processors throughout the United States. As the chair of the firm's Agribusiness and Food Industry Group, he assembles interdisciplinary teams of experts to facilitate innovative projects and bring thought leadership to the agribusiness industry. In addition to serving clients in the agribusiness and automotive industries, he counsels municipalities, pharmaceutical manufacturers, developers, nonprofit environmental organizations, alternative energy producers and equipment manufacturers, transportation and logistics companies, retail centers, mining operations and clients in the food production, high-tech manufacturing and aerospace industries.


  • Wayne State University Law School J.D. 1998 cum laude
  • Oakland University B.A. 1991


  • 1998, Michigan


  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan

Bar Associations

  • Federal Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Chair, Environmental Law Section Council (2013-14)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • Midland County Bar Association

Teaching and Lecturing

  • Prior to attending law school, Mr. Brauer taught critical thinking for the Wayne State University Department of Philosophy


  • Assisted the Shiwassee Regional Chamber of Commerce in securing and monetizing financial incentives for a complete rehabilitation of the former Owosso Armory. At over100 years old , the Armory sat vacant and unused for more than a decade after the 144th National Guard Unit moved to a modern facility. Of note, also serving as a community center, Grand Funk Railroad and Alice Cooper played the Armory. Federal Historic and New Markets Tax Credits were paired for the first time in the NTCIC “Small Deal Fund” initiative focusing on mains streets, and a host of state and local incentives rounded out the package.
  • Facilitated the expansion of Michigan’s largest soy-bean processer by securing a financial incentive package totaling almost $30 Million, allowing it to invest $130 Million in Gratiot County, create more than 70 new jobs and provide the capacity to process almost 50% of Michigan’s soybean crop.
  • Assisted in the sale of a Florida trash collection and hauling business, providing guidance on sell-side due diligence, permit transferring and negotiation of post-closing liabilities.
  • Represented Genesee County in establishing Michigan's first county Land Bank Fast Track Authority and developed a county-wide brownfield plan resulting in the cross-collateralization of tax increments to support a $5 million bond issuance.
  • Assisted Michigan’s largest private wetland mitigation bank developer in acquiring property and negotiating approvals for several wetland mitigation banks in Michigan.
  • Provided economic and environmental services to a Holland Township co-packer to facilitate its expansion.
  • Assisted a pharmaceutical manufacturer in obtaining more than $10 million in financial incentives to expand R&D and production facilities.
  • Assisted the City of Bay City in developing numerous sites across the city, most notably helping it to redevelop 45 acres on the City's downtown waterfront, including creation of a public-private partnership entity, sale of city-owned land, securing financial incentives, obtaining environmental permits, and relocating high-voltage utilities and other infrastructure.
  • Assisted Fortune 150 Tier I automotive supplier in obtaining more than $15 million in financial incentives to redevelop its global headquarters in Michigan.
  • Assisted Michigan municipalities in various economic development matters, including Brownfield Redevelopment, Michigan Business Tax Credits, Michigan's Commercial Rehabilitation Act, Michigan's Downtown Development Authority Act and Community Development Block Grants.
  • Assisted a developer in obtaining more than $10 million in brownfield incentives for the construction of a LEED-certified private college apartment facility serving a Big Ten school in Michigan.
  • Assisted a food co-packer in obtaining more than $4 million in property tax abatements, MEGA MBT Job Creation tax credits and CDBG funds for the construction of a new plant and associated wastewater facilities in West Michigan, and in securing a wetland permit that included reclaiming over 20 acres of wetland for offsite mitigation.
  • Assisted in locating a major film production studio in Southeast Michigan.
  • Assisted in establishing Michigan's first Commercial Rehabilitation District.

Honors & Awards

  • A Lawyer Helps Pro Bono Honor Roll, State Bar of Michigan, Tier 2, 2021
  • Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, 2010-Present
  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers, 2014-Present
  • DBusiness, Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Environmental Law, 2011-15, 2017-22
  • Recipient of the Michigan Economic Developers Association's Mike Conboy award, 2018



Professional Affiliations

  • Michigan Manufacturers Association
    Chair, Environmental Policy Committee (2019)
  • Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator
    Director (2014-Present)
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce
    Member, Environmental Quality Committee
  • Michigan Economic Developers Association
  • Michigan Wetlands Association
    President (2018-Present); Board of Directors
  • Air and Waste Management Association
    East Michigan Chapter

Community Affiliations

  • Farmington Hills Brownfield Redevelopment Authority
    Secretary, Board of Directors
  • Loon Lake Association
  • Boy Scouts of America
    Troop 110, Farmington, Michigan - Assistant Scoutmaster; Crew 110, Farmington, Michigan - Crew Committee Chair

Speaking Engagements

  • "Reusing Vacant Office Space, Filling Vacant Space Throughout Michigan Caused by COVID," Michigan Economic Developers Association Webinar, October 8, 2020
  • "P3 Session" and "Michigan Mobility 2045 and the Future of Supply Chain," Michigan Economic Developers Association Annual Meeting, August 15-16, 2019, Marquette, Michigan
  • Food and Licensed Beverage Business Legal Issues, Techstars Startup Week Detroit, June 19, 2018. Presented on topics facing startup businesses in the Agribusiness sector, including company formation, financing, economic incentives and business counseling, contracting and other issues
  • "Financial Incentives for the Automotive Industry," The Automotive Suppliers' Guide to 2017: Legal Trends and Insight for the New Year, OESA Seminar, February 2, 2017, Troy, Michigan
  • Fall Wetlands and Easements Seminar, presentation to Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors regarding state of wetlands law in Michigan, November 7, 2014
  • 2014 Midland Environmental Law Briefing, August 6, 2014, Midland, Michigan
  • Summer Workshop 2014, Michigan Local Government Management Association, July 24, 2014, Bay City, Michigan
  • I-69 Automotive Suppliers Forum, July 15, 2014, Owosso, Michigan
  • "Finding and Securing Economic Development Incentives," Warner Webinar, April 30, 2014
  • "Wetland Mitigation and Environmental Risk Management," Michigan Nature Association, March 15, 2014
  • Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, February 19, 2014
  • Michigan Economic Developers Association Capitol Day, February 18, 2014
  • "Top Ten Issues for Brownfield Reimbursement Agreement - Perspectives of Developer and Municipality," 2013 Michigan Brownfields Outlook and Training, February 21, 2013, Lansing, Michigan

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