Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
Redevelopment of Parcel 8 - 505 Tremont St.
Success in Brownfields Cleanup Loan Fund
(August 28, 2002)
Successful Partnerships Make for Successful Brownfields Programs
The loan agreement under the city of Boston Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF) for the remediation and redevelopment of the former Parcel 8 site was signed on December 3, 2001 by the Boston Redevelopment Authority for $475,000. The planned 8-story redevelopment will provide 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, new theater and support apace for the adjacent Boston Center for the Arts facility, 100 residential condominiums on the upper floors, and a below-grade parking garage with capacity for 350 cars. This redevelopment project is the result of a partnership between the city of Boston, Boston Redevelopment Authority, Boston Center for the Arts, Huntington Theater, and the Druker Company. The total cleanup is estimated to cost $2.8 million and will be managed and overseen by the developer. The developer is contributing $1.8 million towards the cleanup with the BRA contributing the remaining $1 million. Of the BRA’s $1 million match, $475,000 will be provided by the BCRLF loan.
Boston, MA and Parcel 8 Background
As a large, urban city with an industrial history, Boston is known as the economic hub of New England. However, the city also has its fair share of unemployment, poverty, abandoned land, and environmental problems. As industries have been phased out of the city and moved to the suburban greenfields, parts of Boston have been left littered with abandoned and vacant properties. Many of these former industrial properties have not been redeveloped due to fears of real or perceived environmental contamination. This loan represents a key milestone in Boston's efforts to redevelop Brownfields.
In August 1995, EPA awarded to Boston a Brownfields Demonstration Assessment Pilot and it received supplemental assessment funding support for that pilot in 2000. EPA awarded Boston, a BCRLF Pilot in August 1997. Under this program, EPA has provided Boston with $1,000,000 to capitalize its revolving loan fund.
Located in Boston’s South End, the 50,000 square-foot Parcel 8 property has had a variety of past uses including automotive repair and filling stations, an Odd Fellows Hall, and a hotel which was destroyed by fire in the 1960s. In addition, the site is underlain by urban fill. An engineering evaluation/cost analysis identified volatile organic compounds, semivolatile organic compounds, total petroleum hydrocarbons, mercury and lead at levels exceeding state standards. In addition, a localized pocket of light non-aqueous phase liquid (2.5 inches of product in one monitoring well) was found.
The Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund Phase
The city of Boston's Economic Development and Industrial Corporation is the Lead Agency for the BCRLF. The Boston Local Development Corporation serves as the Fund Manager. A Massachusetts Licensed Site Professional employed by the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development is the site manager. The Boston Redevelopment Authority, the city’s planning and economic development agency, is the BCRLF borrower for this project. The loan will be used to support the cleanup and redevelopment of Parcel 8. The loan terms are 5 years at 0% interest, with a single payment due at the end of the 5th year. In addition, the BRA will benefit from a 20% intragovernmental loan discount.
Construction of a proposed garage will require excavation to depths of approximately 30 feet below grade. A detailed soil precharacterization was completed and the estimated quantity of contaminated soil subject to excavation and disposal is approximately 65,000 cubic yards. Total soil excavation and disposal costs are estimated at $2.8 million.
The property is slated for a 253,120 square-foot mixed use redevelopment. The mixed-use building will include 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, new theater and support space for the adjacent Boston Center for the Arts facility, 100 residential condominiums on the upper floors, and a below-grade parking garage with capacity for 350 cars. The construction will require excavation to 30 feet below the existing grade. Cleanup and construction began in spring 2002.