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South Bend Redevelopment Project
To assist a municipality with the redevelopment of 84 acres of abandoned property on a schedule that would ensure the site could be completely redeveloped in less than two years. Preliminary site investigations identified thirty-two (32) locations on the property that exhibited various environmental impacts. All of these would need to be remediated before a new warehouse and distribution center for one of the largest off-price apparel and home fashion retailers in the country could be built. For our client, the deadline was of paramount importance, for this abandoned brownfield to be become a 500,000+ sf, state-of-the-art facility, projected to create more than 500 new jobs, and give new life to underutilized land in the heart of this city.
The municipality had identified and attracted an excellent end-user to the site. However, before any commitment would be made, the end-user requested all environmental due diligence be conducted. Two short months were allotted for both Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments over 84 acres, long used for industrial and . Over the two month period, twenty-two (22) recognized environmental concerns were identified and characterized to the satisfaction of the city and end-user. Weaver Boos was asked to provide worst case estimates for site remediation with the assumption that additional RECs might be identified during redevelopment.
As site redeveloped activities commenced, Weaver Boos was retained to provide environmental oversight in the mutual interest of both parties. Weaver Boos identified an additional ten RECs site demolition. These conditions were unknown to the previous property owners and included aboveground and underground storage tanks, dry wells, subsurface disposal pits, surface disposal areas, spent foundry sand, spill residues, dangerous building products, as well as significant sources of contaminants migrating from off-site.
Concurrent with construction activities, Weaver Boos completed soil remediation activities at several of the 32 REC locations, and developed several engineering and institutional controls to address potential residual risks at other locations. During the redevelopment process it was decided to enter the site into the Indiana Voluntary Remediation Program in order to obtain a comprehensive Covenant-Not-To-Sue Letter.
Initial contact between the municipality and end-user occurred in January 2002. As requested, due diligence activities were completed by the end of March 2002. Environmental oversight activities were conducted concurrent with construction and included addressing 32 environmental concerns. All environmental remediation work was completed by July 2003, six months prior to the scheduled opening of the warehouse and distribution center. Weaver Boos was faithful in completing all environmental investigations and cleanup within the budget estimated prior to site redevelopment.
On this project, the extraordinary efforts and performance of Weaver Boos environmental professionals ultimately resulted in the end-user retaining Weaver Boos to provide soil testing, geotechnical engineering, foundation design recommendations, materials testing during construction, and specialty services such as floor-flatness testing that resulted in the building being certified to the highest standards for forklift operations.