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EPA honors six Great Lakes communities for brownfields efforts

Release Date: 10/22/2007
Contact Information:

CONTACT: Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov
Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 07-OPA188


CHICAGO (Oct. 22, 2007) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today recognized six communities in the Great Lakes states for successful efforts to transform once-blighted brownfields properties into productive economic assets.

Environmental and development officials in Chicago; Indianapolis; Eaton County, Mich.; St. Louis Park, Minn.; Hamilton, Ohio; and Milwaukee were recognized for outstanding leadership and commitment to excellence in locally based brownfields programs.

The honored projects include:

Chicago. The city was honored for continued good work on brownfields efforts, highlighting three projects: (1) the Chicago Center for Green Technology, established at a former illegal construction debris site at 445 N. Sacramento Ave. CCGT is a showplace and teaching center for green technology; (2) replacement of an abandoned auto repair business at 3701 W. Ogden Ave. with the Jubilee Family Resource Center, which serves 200 children; (3) Transformation of a former carriage and auto manufacturing property at 76th Street and South Parnell Avenue into Parnell Place, which provides daycare and programming for foster children and their families. [Contact: Dave Graham, Chicago Department of Development, 312-744-3639.]

Indianapolis. Indianapolis was recognized for an innovative community-wide assessment of brownfields in the Bruce's Place, Fall Creek Place and Martindale-Brightwood neighborhoods. As a result, 25 new homes have been built and dozens more are under construction. Noting this success, the area-wide approach to assessment is now being utilized by a number of not-for-profit community development agencies in Indianapolis. [Contact: Christopher Harrell, Indianapolis Brownfields Redevelopment, 317-327-5845.]

Eaton County, Mich. The county seat of Eaton Rapids, near Lansing, leveraged an EPA brownfields assessment grant to renovate two downtown properties and spur development of 40 units of new housing. This momentum has also led to a recent upgrade of a recreational trail along the nearby Grand River. [Contact: Jonathan Greene, Eaton County Economic Development, 517-543-3740.]

St. Louis Park, Minn. Remediation at the former NL Industries/Taracorp/ Golden Auto Superfund site in this Minneapolis suburb was completed in 1995. Recent redevelopment efforts by a group of state and local partners including Hennepin County and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, supported by a low-interest loan capitalized with an EPA brownfields revolving loan grant, will generate more than 350 new jobs at the 10-acre property. [Contacts: David Jaeger, Hennepin County Environmental Services, 612-348-5714, or Kristin Lukes, MnDEED, 651-296-1149.]

Hamilton, Ohio. A suburb of Cincinnati, Hamilton was home to Mosler Safe for more than 100 years before it closed in 1996. In 2003, Hamilton was named a Federally Designated Renewal Community Area and then received $2.3 million in Clean Ohio revitalization funds, along with a $500,000 EPA brownfields revolving loan fund grant to clean up the site. Today, the former Mosler property contains a grocery store and a number of smaller retailers, generating more than 100 new jobs. [Contact: Melissa Johnson Gabbard, Hamilton Economic Development, 513-785-7070.]

Milwaukee. A tax-delinquent dry cleaner at 2121 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. acquired by the city in 1989 was found to be contaminated. Utilizing a brownfields cleanup grant in 2004, the site was returned to safe and useable condition and sold to a developer. Today, a new building at the site houses 21 condominiums and five retail spaces. [Contact: Karen Dettmer, Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority, 414-286-5642.]

See more information about the EPA Region 5 brownfields program at http://www.epa.gov/r5brownfields.

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