Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
Former Brockton Shoe Factory Lands on its Feet
Success in US EPA-lead Targeted Brownfields Assessment Program
Following a July 1994 fire which destroyed the King Size Co. factory on Spark Street in Brockton, Massachusetts, the six-acre site lay idle for 10 years. Today, after $50,000 in Brownfields grant money from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the parcel is home to the corporate headquarters for David Gooding, Inc (DGI) in a new 60,000-square-foot building.
Conscious of possible environmental problems hindering redevelopment of the land, the City of Brockton began the path to reuse in 1997 when it was awarded Phase I Targeted Brownfields Assessment funds from the EPA. The Phase I was completed in February 1997 and a subsequent Phase II investigation was completed in September 1999 defining the nature and extent of hazardous waste contamination found onsite.
Clean up of the site was performed by Fleet Environmental Services, a provider of environmental, abatement and selective demolition services, who had also purchased the property under a tax increment financing (TIF) agreement with the city. Fleet’s original plans, to build its headquarters and a training center onsite, were never fulfilled and Fleet sold the property in 2002 to IGD, LLC, the real estate holder for DGI. Fleet’s tax agreement was amended and transferred to IGD, LLC. The transferred TIF will give DGI a property tax reduction of $321,422 over 13 years because of the former hazardous waste onsite. In addition, DGI will be able to claim a 5% investment tax credit from the state. City officials have estimated that the company’s investment will produce $986,927 in new taxes for the city over 13 years.
The site, located across from the commuter rail station, is in Brockton’s “Economic Corridor.” Redevelopment of the site means the reclamation of valuable commercial space near other successful town businesses. DGI, originally founded in Warwick, RI, is a “manufacturer’s representative” providing commodities to plumbing, heating, and PVF wholesalers. Since its establishment in 1980, DGI has grown to approximately 70 employees (52 in Brockton) and serves a territory from Maine to Virginia with headquarters in Brockton and another office in Bristol, PA. DGI has invested $3.2 million in construction and $500,000 in equipment for its new state-of-the-art headquarters in Brockton.