Environmental Consulting & Engineering Services - from Concept to Reality
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Twin Cities CDC Redevelopment Project
ESS served as an environmental consultant for the renovation of the former Whitney & Co. factory in Leominster, MA. The client, Twin Cities Community Development Corporation (TCCDC), had the vision to renovate the former mill building into 40-units of much needed affordable housing. Now known as the Water Mill Apartments, this 58,000-square-foot redevelopment project preserved the historic structure that was in foreclosure, while also revitalizing a blighted area of Leominster. An abandoned former gas station located across the street was also remediated as part of the redevelopment to provide 66 parking spaces for the housing units. The project also included a small playground and installation of traffic lights, sewer lines, and sidewalks.
ESS conducted several environmental evaluations to assist in strategic planning for the project. These included a comprehensive summary of potential environmental liabilities for each property, reasonable cost estimates for all known issues, and “contingency” cost estimates for potentially unknown conditions that could arise during remediation/construction. The evaluations were used to help TCCDC secure funding for the project through agencies, including MassDevelopment (Brownfields Redevelopment Fund), the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and MassHousing.
ESS completed a series of technical studies to delineate and document the extent of contamination on the site, as required to comply with the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) environmental clean-up regulations. These studies included Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments; MCP field investigations, including test pitting, soil borings, well installations, and soil and groundwater sampling and analysis; and preparation and filing of various MCP documents, including Release Notification Forms (RNFs), Phase I Initial Site Investigation Reports, Tier Classification Submittals, Bills of Lading (BOLs), MCP risk characterizations, and Response Action Outcome (RAO) Statements.
The environmental assessments performed by ESS were used to develop remedial strategies for the site which were then integrated into project construction and redevelopment activities. ESS supported project construction by providing inspection and documentation of remedial response actions. These included urban fill removal and disposal, Underground Storage Tank (UST) removals, soil excavation, and soil transport and disposal. ESS also attended weekly project progress meetings to update project stakeholders on the status of site remediation and MCP closure.
Through successful planning, the project was ultimately able to secure approximately 14 funding sources. ESS was also able to help TCCDC obtain Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credits once the cleanup and redevelopment was completed.
The $15 million housing development was completed in 2012, and the apartments are currently helping to serve the needs of the Leominster affordable housing community. Water Mill Apartments is LEED-Certified and is eligible for Historic Tax Credits.