Meet just a few of our Redevelopment Rodeo and Developers Talk Deals presenters, and join us at the National Brownfields Training Conference to see some of the roughest, toughest properties out there go head to head with our wranglers. Learn their names and histories, and don’t be a rodeo clown – join the discussion in Pittsburgh, and take home some good ideas for your local bucking brownfield!
You can join the Redevelopment Rodeos at these dates and times:
- • The Redevelopment Rodeo: Episode One, “Big City” December 6th | 1:45pm-2:45pm | Room 301/302
- • The Redevelopment Rodeo: Episode Two, “Small Town” December 6th | 4:15pm-5:15pm | Room 301/302
Property #1: Flathead Post & Pole Site, Dixon Agency, Montana.
First out of the chute, this one has attitude – it’s a big, promising site with big challenges. Meet “Montana Mad Max.”
- • Tribally owned 100-acre rural site with significant wood waste and minor contamination
- • Proximity to tourist routes and natural resources (river, National Bison Range)
- • Desired reuse of recreation with some light industrial
- • Seeking a way to remove wood waste and potentially generate income, as well as an investment model for redeveloping the site
The former Flathead Post & Pole site in Dixon Agency, Montana is a 100-acre tribally-owned property at the confluence of two rivers, near the National Bison Range tourist destination and US Highway 93, which is the primary tourist route to Glacier National Park and Flathead Lake. Despite the presence of minor pentachlorophenol (“penta”) impacts and a large area of wood waste, the site in its current abandoned state is used regularly for fishing. The Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) anticipate completing cleanup of the penta impacts in 2018, and are searching for creative ideas and applicable resources to bring redevelopment to the site post-cleanup. The CSKT Office of Economic Development would like to see recreational use on the majority of the site, with a 5-acre area near an upland rail spur reserved for potential light industrial uses. Off-property, residences are present immediately north of the site.
One of the largest hurdles for redevelopment of the site is the presence of 39,880 cubic yards of wood waste. The wood waste will need to be removed, and the area reclaimed to allow safe reuse of the site. The wood waste has been characterized both to confirm lack of contaminants (no penta detected), and for beneficial reuse as a feedstock for either commercial composting with a nitrogen source, or as a thermal fuel. Regionally, there are no facilities accepting aged wood waste as a thermal fuel, and there is moderate moisture content in the waste, so reuse as thermal fuel appears not feasible. Test results and discussion with compost facilities indicate the wood waste could make an ideal feedstock for mixture with biosolids/sewage sludge as a nitrogen source. The material has high organic carbon content, low content of salts and non-decomposable material, and is close to highway and rail for transportation. The CSKT also have heavy equipment training programs at the tribal college and local Job Corps center that have expressed interest in providing subsidized loading and/or hauling services to remove the wood waste. Finally, the CSKT are flexible on the schedule for removal of the wood waste, and could provide portions of the waste each year to a facility for reuse.
Property #2: Kohl Cycle Site in Lockport, New York.
If this site were a bull, we’d call it “Widow Maker.” Enough said. Get ready.
- • High remediation costs
- • Complex topography (including tunnels!)
- • Tricky contamination
- • Not feasible for light manufacturing
- • The County is seeking help to explore all potential reuse and redevelopment options for this complex site, from funding to remediation strategies and potential end uses.
Seeking to explore all options to catalyze redevelopment of this site. Specific challenges include cleanup funding, attracting developers, and the reality that the local economy doesn't support the proposed project.
Located in Lockport, New York, the Kohl Cycle Site served as the location of a number of industrial enterprises from 1864 to the 1990's. After the property was abandoned, the City of Lockport acquired the 4.8 acre site through foreclosure of real property taxes. Environmental testing revealed demolition debris and fill materials across the site with elevated concentrations of PAHs and metals above industrial reuse standards. Soil contamination is evident from the surface to depths greater than 50 feet. Groundwater has not been impacted by soil contamination. Excavation and off-site reuse/disposal of all contaminated soils is not considered a feasible remedial alternative for the site. The estimated capital cost for excavation and off-site disposal of soil, and construction of a 2-foot thick engineering control (soil cover) is in the range of $1,200,000 to $2,000,000.
The topography of the site presents unique challenges. The site is situated on a 60 foot cliff overlooking the Erie Canal. In the mid to late 1800's an underground manmade system of tunnels served as a mill race providing hydropower to the historic mills that were located on the site. The tunnels that run underneath the property are now used for a cave and underground boat tourist attraction. Site redevelopment needs to be sensitive to the existing tourist attraction.
A financial analysis was conducted to determine if the site could support the community's reuse concept as a light manufacturing facility. The site did not pass a risk equity test and was not feasible from a private financing point of view. The community hopes to receive advice on how to advance the site despite the environmental, topographical, and economic challenges.
Property #3: International Order of Odd Fellows Building, Baker City, Oregon
Meet “Perfect Storm” aka “the Baker City Bruiser.” It’s a tough one, and the folks wrestling it to the ground are even tougher: high school students and their teacher, all involved in the country’s only high school brownfields class.
- • 3 historic buildings in one, situated on a historic main street in a small town.
- • Baker City is home to the 2nd highest number of BF in OR.
- • Redevelopment being driven by high school students and the only high school brownfields class in the U.S.
- • Baker City needs help attracting developers, growing community support, and managing the reality that the area economy does not currently support redevelopment.
The Odd Fellows Building on Main Street in Baker City has a history of doing good for our community. Today, the Odd Fellows are no longer occupying the building, but the tradition of doing good for our community remains, in the hands of a high school class. In December, this group of students will own this building through a Prospective Purchaser Agreement (PPA) via the Baker Technical Institute, which runs the only high school brownfields program in the country.
For the last five years, students have been learning about brownfields by going through the process of cleaning them up. We have cleaned up two sites, are working on three currently, and we are writing grants with the City to look at 20 brownfields in 30 blocks. With the second highest number of brownfields per capita in the state of Oregon, Baker City has quite a history of potential contamination and economic loss, however a group of high school students are taking on the challenge.
The Odd Fellows building is a great location for future businesses (there are three separate buildings within one) as it is on the Historic Main Street. However it also represents a turning point of awareness in the community. The students have come to understand that they don’t just represent the school, they represent the community, and they are ready to plan for their community’s needs. This class has inspired students’ career choices and their perspectives on their community. Baker City is looking for partners in redevelopment who share their passion for positive local investments both for their future and created by their future citizens.
Property #4: Forest Park Ash Site, Jacksonville, Florida
Rising from a former ash disposal site, this site has the potential to be a real recreational gem and with fantastic riverfront green space. Its rodeo name? “The Green Monster.”
- • 12.6 acre former Superfund site
- • Located at the intersection of two major highways
- • Abuts an environmental justice community and a rapidly redeveloping area
- • Concerns about displacement
- • Potential to provide recreational benefits and open space in an area that needs it. A local news article recently identified the site as “Downtown’s best kept secret.”
- • The City is seeking help attracting developers and infrastructure investment, as well as recommendations for commercial and recreational redevelopment strategies.
Currently undergoing the last phase of a Superfund cleanup, Jacksonville’s Forest Park Ash Site has the potential to become a signature recreational destination and mixed-use community hub. Literally at the junction of US Interstates 95 and 10, the 12.6 acre site is strategically located to provide a space for public outdoor enjoyment in the heart of the urban core. With over $4 million designated for greenway construction along adjacent McCoys Creek, the park will ultimately serve as a trailhead linking pedestrians, cyclists, and kayakers to the St. Johns River.
As the former location of a municipal solid waste incinerator from 1913 until the 1960s, ash residue is the primary environmental challenge. Other hurdles to development include frequent inundation from rain events with serious flooding resulting from recent Hurricane Irma. The agreed upon remediation plan includes removal of soil and replacement with clean fill including re-stabilizing the banks of McCoys Creek. Ideally, the remaining cleanup activities could be combined with watershed restoration to create a broader floodplain.
Redeveloping Forest Park and McCoys Creek as contemporary public greenspace has been a vision of elected officials, City staff, and local nonprofits for over a decade. With money now in place for cleanup and trail construction in the current 5-year Capital Improvement Plan, the City wants to optimize the use of these funds for the greatest benefit to the surrounding underserved neighborhoods. While the City definitely sees Forest Park as a future community catalyst, an overarching goal is to avoid the displacement of current residents in the process of recreational and commercial redevelopment of the site a recent newspaper column called “Downtown’s Best Kept Secret.”
Properties #5 and 6: Former Sanitary Laundry and McClung Warehouses, Knoxville, Tennessee
Ever met a rodeo bull named “Dirty Laundry”? We didn’t think so, but that’s the name we’ve given Knoxville’s former Sanitary Laundry and McClung Warehouses. Together, the redevelopment of these tricky beasts could make a substantial impact on downtown. Ready your ropes.
- • Two city-owned sites just blocks apart.
- • .3 acres (former Sanitary Laundry, with historic building and roof in need of significant repair)
- • 5 acres (former McClung Warehouses, no structures)
- • EPA grant funds for cleanup on both properties
- • Seeking help attracting developers and identifying funding for infrastructure, navigating reuse options including open space (limited in surrounding neighborhood), determining market viability and exploring the feasibility of historic tax credits.
The former Sanitary Laundry on North Broadway and McClung Warehouses on Jackson Avenue have unique redevelopment histories and are unusual in that both are City-owned. The City, motivated by blight-abatement and public safety concerns, purchased the McClung Warehouses portion of the Jackson Avenue site in 2013 from a bankruptcy trustee. The warehouses, dating back to the 1890s, were destroyed in fires set by vagrants in 2007 and 2014. The City acquired the abandoned dry-cleaning site on Broadway in 2014 in a tax foreclosure. The business had been a leading employer in the 1920s and 1930s. The properties are also only blocks apart from each other along North Broadway, US Highway 441.
“We know that contaminants are present at the Sanitary Laundry and McClung Warehouses sites, and that’s a major roadblock in bringing these key properties back into reuse,” said Mayor Madeline Rogero. “The great news is that we have developed a strategy to remediate the sites, and now we’ve got the resources to move ahead.” The Environmental Protection Agency is funding $200,000 for the 30,000-square-foot former dry-cleaning site in the heart of the Downtown North Redevelopment District and $150,000 for the five-acre former industrial site on Jackson Avenue. The City is contributing a 20 percent match – a combined $70,000. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is partnering with the City and EPA on the cleanups.
The City hopes to issue a request for proposals for Sanitary Laundry and the McClung Warehouses sites upon completion of the Cleanup Grants in 2019, setting the stage for private developers to bring new life and uses to these properties, similar to the new Suttree Landing Park, also a brownfield redevelopment. For the McClung Warehouses properties along Jackson, the community has noted its visibility from Interstate 40/75 as more than 120,000 vehicles pass this site on any given day and would like to see a mix of uses with architecture that is inspiring and reflects the unique and vibrant character of downtown Knoxville. The Sanitary Laundry property is located in a block with commercial, warehousing and industrial uses and the consensus is that those uses would be encouraged for this property in the future. Knoxville hopes that the Redevelopment Rodeo can provide exposure for these properties, share lessons learned from other communities with similar challenges, and develop ideas about strategic investment opportunities for these sites.