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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Myrtle Street Brownfields Redevelopment

Success in EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant Program and Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund Program
Lynn, MA and the Lynn Economic Development & Industrial Corporation

(November 25, 2002)

Empire Laundry property prior to redevelopment. Click for a larger image.
Empire Laundry property prior to redevelopment
Demolition of Empire Laundry. Click for a larger image.
Demolition of Empire Laundry
Construction of Myrtle Street Property. Click for a larger image.
Construction of Myrtle Street Property
Myrtle Street Property after construction. Click for a larger image.
Myrtle Street Property after construction

Successful Partnerships Make for a Successful Brownfields Program
The Lynn Community Development Housing Corporation partnered (LCDHC) with the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development (LHAND) to construct five single-family homes that will be sold to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers. This innovative project converted a former industrial property into residential properties within a residential neighborhood. The project was also made possible by the partnership of the city of Lynn, the Economic Development Industrial Corporation (EDIC / Lynn), and the Conservation Law Foundation which used EPA Brownfields funding from the Assessment Grant program and the Revolving Loan Fund programs to assess and clean up the former Empire Laundry property prior to redevelopment. EDIC / Lynn has been awarded $350,000 in assessment funding since 1997 and $500,000 to capitalize it’s Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund, a portion of which was used for this redevelopment project.

Myrtle Street Property Background
The Myrtle Street property was previously used as a commercial laundry facility, the Empire Laundry, from the early 1900's until 1993. The property was abandoned from 1993 until 1996, when the city of Lynn foreclosed. EDIC / Lynn was awarded $200,000 from EPA’s Brownfields Assessment Grant program in 1997, Assessment Grant supplemental funding of $150,000 in 2000, and $500,000 to capitalize the Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund in 2000 as well. The property is 36,000 square feet in size and is surrounded on all sides by residential properties.

Assessment Grant Program Phase
In January 1998, the first community meeting was convened. Given the location of the property, area residents and city officials favored converting the industrial property to a residential use. In March of 1998 above-ground hazardous materials were discovered on the property. EPA subsequently completed an Emergency Removal Action to remove 15 55-gallon drums of hazardous waste. Follow-up site investigations, risk assessment, remedial alternatives, and cost estimates were prepared through the fourth quarter of 1999.

Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund Phase
In 1999, EPA awarded the city of Lynn a $500,000 grant to establish a revolving loan fund program to fund environmental cleanups. As part of the cleanup and redevelopment of the former Empire Laundry site, the Lynn Housing Authority was able to borrow $69,000 in Brownfields funding from the city’s loan fund to cleanup the site and ready it for redevelopment. The loan was signed on November 25, 2002. The loan interest rate is 5% and the term is 12 months. In September 2002 the redevelopment kick off was held, once the building demolition was complete, and the cleanup continued for the next year. The cleanup consisted of excavating and removing contaminated soil. Over 2,400 pounds of solid waste were removed, as well as over 300 gallons of liquid waste and 163 bags of asbestos-containing building materials.

Redevelopment Phase
In October 2001, LCDHC was conveyed the property. In January 2002, the Mayor of Lynn signed the deed for the property. The groundbreaking for the Myrtle Street properties was held on Wednesday, November 20, 2002. The project is scheduled for completion in March 2003.

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