Join the TAB providers and our rodeo partner, Brownfield Listings, and see the Rodeo at the National Brownfields Training Conference 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
And don’t forget the TAB providers’ pre-conference workshop, Developers Talk Deals, from 9am-12pm on December 4th in Room 317/318. Register for Developers Talk Deals HERE.
For properties #1-6, see our previous blog entry about the Redevelopment Rodeo.
Property #7: Former Lewis Chemical Corporation
This one is smaller, but it packs a contaminated wallop and has “environmental hair” to spare. Located 125 feet from a commuter train station and recent transit investments, this one has the capacity to be a real TOD gem. Meet “Locomotive Breath” (name of an actual rodeo bull – we can only make up so much, folks).
- • 0.7 acre former tannery and hazardous waste disposal site
- • Located 125 feet from commuter rail station and recent transit investments
- • Cleanup costs estimated at $3-$4 million
- • The City is riding in the Rodeo to seek cleanup funding and new ideas for potential cleanup funding sources, help attracting developers, and development ideas that can return the site to productive reuse.
The former Lewis Chemical Corporation is located in a mixed commercial and residential area of the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. From 1940 until the early 1960s, a leather manufacturing company reportedly occupied the Site, although little specific information was ever found relative to its operation. Lewis Chemical subsequently operated at the Site from 1963 until 1983 and was involved in the collection, transportation, storage, and processing of hazardous waste. Numerous violations of federal, state, and local laws regarding the safe handling, transport, storage, and treatment of hazardous materials, as well as complaints from local residents, were documented during Lewis Chemical’s time of operation on the Property. Lewis Chemical was forced to terminate operations under a Court Order issued by MassDEP in 1983. In October 2000, the City of Boston foreclosed on the property due to unpaid property taxes. The property has been unoccupied since 2000. In June 2014, the former structure was razed.
Active railroad tracks used by Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) commuter rail and associated with the Penn Central Railroad right-of-way are located adjacent to the Site to the north. The Fairmount MBTA commuter rail train station is located approximately 125 feet northeast of the Site. The Neponset River parallels the Site to the south, southwest. The Neponset River and railway cross to the west of the Site. The Fairmount Avenue right-of-way and overpass abuts the property to the east.
Numerous assessments have been conducted at the site by the City of Boston since 2000. These assessments have indicated that soil beneath the site is impacted by VOCs (primarily perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene), PCBs, and metals. Groundwater is impacted by VOCs in both overburden and bedrock. An analysis of cleanup alternatives have indicated that remedial costs are in the $3 million to $4 million range.
Property #8: 942 East First Street, Monroe, MI 48161
This one has an interesting back story, a lot of promise, and a two year clock that is ticking before the City has to make a decision about whether or not to accept the property as a donation.
The saying “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” doesn’t apply when dealing with brownfields. Meet the “Monroe Mean Machine.”
- • 1.8 acre former industrial site
- • No existing structures
- • Available as a donation to the City
- • Located near significant investments, including a national park corridor and a new fire station
- • Located in a neighborhood hit hard by the housing crisis, this site could be powerfully catalytic and contribute an important new asset to the surrounding neighborhood.
- • The City is seeking help identifying cleanup funding, attracting developers, and identifying which end uses might return the property to productive reuse the fastest.
The parcel at 942 East First Street has the opportunity to be a significant development in the City of Monroe. The site has been used for industrial purposes for the better part of the last 130 years. Its industrial activities ceased for the most part in the 1980s and the main building on the site was demolished in 2013. This left a nearly two acre lot that looks vacant, but still has the slab and foundation of a 55,000 sq. ft. building.
In 2014, the City began making inquiries to the owner about removing the rest of the foundation. The owner wasn’t interested in making the substantial investment that would require, so he offered it to the City for donation. Knowing the real cost of the site lay in the cleanup and not the acquisition, the City told the owner it would have to complete environmental assessments on the site to get an understanding of the cleanup required. The idea being, once the City had an estimate of the cleanup costs, it would request at least a portion of that cost along with any donation. Unfortunately, as these assessments were being arranged, the owner passed away.
The executors of his estate were interested in divesting themselves of the property and approached the City again. By now, the City had some understanding of what it might cost to cleanup the site and offered to enter into a purchase agreement with the former owner’s estate. The City would receive two years to search for opportunities to find a reuse for the site, clean it up and eventually develop it.
This purchase agreement gave the City a new chance to view the site as an opportunity. It is uniquely situated to help capitalize on a number of initiatives the City of Monroe is trying to complete. East of the site, the River Raisin National Battlefield Park is looking to execute a $90M development plan to create a national park corridor. South of the site, the city has plans to build a $6M fire station. So while the parcel is in a distressed neighborhood of the City hit hard by the housing crisis, its development could benefit from these other public investments and hopefully lead the way to more private investment.
The site is also intriguing because the City of Monroe just completed retail and residential Target Market Analyses that lay out gaps in retail and housing in the City. There is a need for affordable, 2- and 3-unit apartment buildings this site could potentially provide. If such an arrangement were achieved with a mixed use building that also provided needed services for the neighborhood (such as a laundromat), it would serve as a major accomplishment for the City. Such a project also has the highest potential for financing brownfield activities with tax increment financing.
See these properties and more go head to head with our wranglers in the Redevelopment Rodeo and Developers Talk Deals! Don’t be a rodeo clown – join us in Pittsburgh, and take home some knowledge to help tame your own tough brownfield.