Brownfields agreements completed to date have resulted in more than $2 billion in committed private investment in the redevelopment of brownfields properties. Click on the links to get summaries of some of the projects and public benefits that have occurred on land that would otherwise have remained abandoned:
- Conover Station*
- Imperial Centre*
- PPD Headquarters*
- Guilford Mills - West Market St.*
- Home Depot*
- Central Park Landfill*
- East Gannon Property*
- Sanford WWTP*
- Alamac Knit Fabrics
- Cumberland Shopping Center
- Lewith Textiles
- Smith Property
- Terrell Machine Co.
- West Morehead
- Oxford Printing
- State Farm Road Project
- Camden Square*
- Hillsborough Ventures
- Tartan Marine
- Hamilton Property
- Singer Furniture Co.
- C.C. Dickson Property
- Food Lion
- Pilot Mills*
*These entries include photos
Conover, Catawba County
Located in the western piedmont area of North Carolina, sits the City of Conover with a population of 8,180. Once a manufacturing hub, with rail access, and on the major interstate I-40, Conover slumped with the decline of manufacturing. Downtown Conover was the home to a Broyhill Furniture manufacturing plant, a 26-acre property that closed its doors in April of 2005. Like most vacant manufacturing or industrial properties it became a fenced, abandoned eyesore. The City of Conover recognized this opportunity for an economic development opportunity in their quiet community. They knew there were environmental hurdles, some known, and some unknown. So in 2006 the City started their Brownfields redevelopment journey. The initial vision was for a complete mixed use redevelopment, but a few assessments later and a downward spiraling economy and the City found themselves without a developer. With some struggles the City came up with an amazing vision and tapped a number of resources; consultants, the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG), and NCDENR. With initial grant funds from the WPCOG EPA assessment grant, the fun began.
Petroleum and volatile organic contamination existed on site in soil and groundwater from years of Underground Storage Tank and Aboveground Storage Tank use, with product lines that coursed underground and through the buildings.
With a whole lot of heart and determination, the City came up with the concept for Conover Station; a transportation hub for the Region. The old Warlong Glove building would be transformed into a Multi-Modal Center with a train station, bus stop, city cabs, and plenty of foot traffic into lovely downtown Conover. With grants from the Federal Transit Authority, Clean Water Management Trust Fund, and EPA clean up through Land of Sky Regional Councilâs Revolving Loan Fund, the City was off and running.
Today the site has undergone an extensive redevelopment. Gone are the industrial eyesores, but the beautiful Warlong Glove building remains, architecturally preserved and renovated. The soil has undergone ex-situ chemical oxidation treatment, and the City is currently conducting annual groundwater and soil monitoring. All completed in accordance with the site Brownfields Agreement and the EPA clean up grant. The Warlong Building is now the home of the Multi-Modal Center, along with a library with an extensive public computer lab, and a coffee shop.
In addition to the Multi-Modal Center, the groundbreaking for the new Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) was February 21st, 2012, this new facility will be the home for small businesses to conduct testing and put their innovations into production. MSC will provide new and existing companies a low cost testing facility, research and development, and the opportunity to share resources. The City is also planning Conover Station Park, a 5.5 acre passive recreation park. The park will include walking trails, an engineered wetland tied into McLin Creek to treat urban stormwater runoff with an educational kiosk on the water cycle and water quality, a nature inspired playground complete with climbing rocks, open space and an open air pavilion. The Park is on the primary route for the Carolina Thread Trail and is linked to the existing central sidewalk network.
All of this redevelopment took extensive planning and resolve by the City, utilizing numerous grants totaling $6.5 million. But the entire journey began with a state brownfields application and the initial EPA brownfields assessment grant funding. It's a true success with so many benefits to the community.
In September 1999 Hurricane Floyd wreaked major devastation upon Eastern North Carolina. The City of Rocky Mount lost its Children's Museum, Arts Center and Playhouse Theater to major flood damage. The City decided to relocate these facilities to the downtown area at the site of a former tobacco processing plant built in 1903 by the Imperial Tobacco Company of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The city pulled together $31 million to complete the redevelopment of the former Imperial Tobacco property-- half from the city's general fund and half from tax credits, FEMA reimbursements and flood insurance. Before and after pictures show how architects utilized many of the features of the former tobacco processing plant into the redevelopment as a reminder of tobacco's importance in the history of the area.
The entrance to the Imperial Centre is located where an old coal bin and fuel oil above ground storage tank were once located and fueled the boilers that produced power for the plant. The coal bin conveyor is utilized as an architectural feature. Indoors, the old coal bin is hanging over an atrium area and can be seen by looking up. The doors to the boilers were reconditioned and are displayed in the lobby. The old boiler house and stack were saved as well and are incorporated into the redevelopment.
The McDonald Street building on the former Imperial Tobacco site now houses the Children's Museum which includes a planetarium, a traveling exhibit gallery, a live animal area, and a science and technology gallery. The Franklin Street building houses a visual arts gallery, recital stage, and offices. A new community Theater has been built between the Imperial Tobacco plant and the former Braswell Library.
The former Braswell library located in the block adjacent to the former Imperial Tobacco Plant was also incorporated as part of the project and now houses an art education center for painting, clay and ceramics, dance, music and sculpting.
Click here to read more about the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences.
This approximately 8-acre project was a portion of the ~40-acre Almont Shipping site, just north of downtown Wilmington. The rest of the Almont Shipping property with frontage on the Cape Fear River has also been submitted as a separate brownfields project . Almont ran a long-time bulk commodities (saltcake, urea, potash, phosphate, etc.) shipping and storage operation. The site as a whole has been in business for over a hundred years, with warehouses on this portion of the property being built in the late 1970s. Prior to Almont, a fuel depot with large ASTs operated on the site. Contamination from the adjacent CSX property spill of 2.2 million gallons of diesel in 1982 was suspected, although a Phase II assessment showed it not to be a problem at this mostly side-gradient property. The prospective developer demolished the warehouses on the site to construct a 400,000 SF office building for PPD Inc., a Wilmington-based pharmaceutical corporation.
The Former Guilford Mills Property (Now FantaCity International Center) in Greensboro used to churn out textile products. But like so many similar mill locations across the state, changes in the textile business had forced the abandonment of the property. Enter a Greensboro developer, for whom the property became an opportunity for a unique commercial venture. FantaCity is the brainchild of John Kim, whose vision is an international melting pot of shopping and food to draw to and from the ever increasing multicultural diversity of the Triad. The multicultural mall project has been receiving numerous accolades and press accounts throughout its development.
The Brownfields Program's role is a small but necessary cog on the way to this project's completion. That is, to understand the historical environmental situation at the property and then define the developer's liability to make the site suitable for reuse for the proposed mall through a brownfields agreement that such that the developer could address the contamination in a cost-effective manner with reduced uncertainty. This has been accomplished, the loan facilitated, and the property has returned to its status as one that contributes to the economic landscape of the Triad.
This 15-acre site was occupied by a produce grocer/convenience store, parking, an abandoned plant nursery and undeveloped property. Operations at adjacent Academy Steel Drum (ASD) from 1947-69 included the disposal of wastes and sludge from drums into pits/lagoons. The location of the lagoons and overflow drainage is suspected to have been partially on subject property. After ASD burned in 1969 the property was thoroughly re-graded with contaminated soil moved around. Elevated concentrations of lead, chromium, and PCBs in soil along with lead, 2-chlorophenol, and trichloroethene. The site is planned to be leased to Home Depot for construction of a new Home Depot home improvement retail store.
The Central Park Landfill site was a former municipal landfill for the City of Winston-Salem. The site is about seven acres in size, and has been used as a city park since the 1950s. The site was redeveloped into regulation soccer and softball fields for Salem Academy and College, located to the north of this property across Salem Avenue. They then plan to used the current recreational fields on their property for additional building space as their campus had become landlocked with no other available space for expansion. A passive methane collection system was installed prior to use of the recreational fields.
This property consisted of four parcels of land totaling 1.75 acres with four existing structures (former restaurant, current auto sales, auto service garage and hair salon). The site was redeveloped into a stand-alone Eckerd drug store near the town center of Zebulon in eastern Wake County. The soil and groundwater are contaminated with petroleum constituents from above ground tanks used by previous bus and gas stations and surrounding off-site leaking underground storage tanks. USTs were also discovered on site during the remediation of the petroleum contaminated soil.
Former City of Sanford municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) site with petroleum impacted sewer sludge and metals impacts in site soil and low concentrations of volatile and semi-volatile compounds in groundwater. The prospective developer intends to redevelop the property for commercial use, including restaurant(s), retail space and a multiscreen movie theater.
The original textile manufacturing facility on this 106-acre site was constructed in 1961 as part of the textile industry's growth in eastern North Carolina. During its operational history, the facility produced cotton and cotton-blend fabrics. As has happened so often in the state as the textile industry has struggled and faltered, Alamac Knit Fabrics Inc. (Alamac) ceased operations at the site in 1999, and as a result of the plant's closure, hundreds of jobs were lost in this rural community. Penco Products Inc. (Penco), the nation's largest manufacturer of school lockers, identified the Alamac facility as an excellent candidate for the consolidation of its Oaks, Pa. and Vicksburg, Miss. manufacturing plants, and the realization of this business plan was made possible by obtaining the liability protection provided by the brownfields agreement on the property. Chlorinated solvent contamination in groundwater at the site is being actively remediated by Alamac under a corrective action plan with the Division of Water Quality's Groundwater Section. In conjunction with Alamac's remedial effort, land use restrictions and groundwater monitoring requirements in the agreement will ensure the full protection of public health and the environment. Penco's operations at the facility will employ state-of-the-art, non-polluting technologies, and its redevelopment of the property will involve an estimated $11 million in private capital investment, and the creation of approximately 350 jobs over the next 3 to 5 years, the great majority of which will be filled from the local community.
Originally developed in about 1970, the 2.5-acre Cumberland Shopping Center on East Market Street, near downtown Greensboro, had been home to various retail businesses, including a dry-cleaning operation that had contaminated the property. By mid-1998 the shopping center had been abandoned, and the two site buildings were razed in late '98. A local, publicly-supported, not-for-profit organization recognized the many quality of life improvements associated with the site's reuse, and provided letters from various public and private sector groups indicating broad support for its plans to redevelop the property. But a factor common to many brownfields projects stood in the way: available project funding was predicated on the developer obtaining the liability protection of a brownfields agreement. Under the guidance of the brownfields program, the developer conducted required environmental assessment and soil remediation activities. These activities and the land use restrictions in the brownfields agreement will ensure the safe reuse of the property. Planning is underway for the site's redevelopment as a multi-use complex offering retail and office space, promising this economically depressed neighborhood a boost with additional employment opportunities and the removal of an abandoned eyesore. Brownfields in action, for the community and for the environment.
Lewith Textile Machinery, which manufactured and refurbished machinery in support of an active textile industry, was developed in the mid-1960s on a 20-acre site south of Wilkinson Boulevard, about three miles west of downtown Charlotte. In response to the general demise of the textile industry, the Lewith facility closed and was abandoned in 1993. The residential, commercial and industrial properties that developed along Wilkinson Boulevard eventually became partially abandoned and underused, in large part due to concerns regarding the site's unknown environmental conditions. In keeping with the city of Charlotte's Westside Strategic Plan and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission's City Within A City plan for the Wilkinson Boulevard Corridor, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Development Corporation, a public/private partnership, acquired the 33-acre site for redevelopment under the NC brownfields program. The liability protection and institutional controls provided by the brownfields agreement implemented for this site are crucial to the property's reuse viability. CMDC has completed environmental assessment and soil cleanup activities in accordance with requirements of the agreement, thus paving the way for the new Wilkinson Park Business Center, a major redevelopment initiative designed to help transform this vital transportation corridor into a thriving business center.
The inability of Cleveland County to provide parking for the growing number of visitors to its offices in downtown Shelby had forced the county to lease parking spaces from nearby downtown merchants. In an effort to eliminate those costs, reduce encroachment on downtown merchants and provide its own customers with adequate and accessible parking, the county identified an available 1-acre parcel, the Smith Property, across the street from the county offices on which it could build a parking lot. The parcel contained several rundown, mostly abandoned housing units. However, environmental sampling revealed groundwater contamination which had likely migrated to the site from an adjacent property, and the county could not proceed with its purchase and redevelopment of the parcel without the liability protection provided by a brownfields agreement. The county provided DENR with statements of support from surrounding property owners regarding its planned reuse of the site. Including land use restrictions that prohibit the use of site groundwater, and requiring the county to maintain the parking lot to function as a protective cap, the brownfields agreement for the site has "paved the way" for the safe, productive reuse of the Smith Property to the public's benefit.
With the success of the Camden Square brownfields project leading the way for urban redevelopment in Charlotte's South End district, other brownfields opportunities were sure to follow. The former Terrell Machine Company site had seen textile and textile-related machinery manufacturing operations dating back to the 1940s. The site was abandoned in 1990, and the site building was demolished in 1992, leaving a cleared 4.6-acre parcel, over which was parked a familiar dark cloud of environmental unknowns and concerns. The prospective developer entered the brownfields program after substantial groundwater assessment and cleanup had been conducted by the party responsible for site contamination. Following acquisition of the property and its entry into the brownfields program, the developer conducted the additional sampling and significant soil cleanup activities required by the program to make the property safe for the intended mixed office, retail and residential reuse. The Terrell project is one of several in the South End district slated for brownfields redevelopment, and yet another example of why brownfields properties are considered viable redevelopment targets.
Addison Investments LLC discovered environmental contamination on the abandoned and rundown 1+ acre site it wanted to acquire and redevelop as office and retail space, and its lenders would not fund Addison's project without some relief regarding possible cleanup liability - an all too common scenario, especially where commercial or industrial property in urban locations are concerned. The property, located just west of downtown Charlotte, had housed trailer manufacturing, motor repair, metal fabrication and auto repair operations since the early 1940s, and had been abandoned since 1996. Letters were provided demonstrating enthusiastic community support for the project. Under the direction of the brownfields program, Addison conducted a target/sensitive receptor survey and additional soil and groundwater sampling, which indicated the property did not have high concentration levels. This enabled DENR to conclude that the property could be safely redeveloped with certain protective land and groundwater use restrictions. The brownfields agreement between Addison and DENR imposed those restrictions and has provided the necessary liability protection for this project to proceed.
Like so many other properties in uses related to the textile industry, this 5-acre site just west of Oxford had seen robust times as a manufacturer of sleeping bags and other outdoor items from the early 1960s through the mid-70s, and as fabric screen printing, dyeing and finishing plant from the late 70s until 1995 when Oxford Printing closed its doors. Redevelopment of this site was hindered by liability concerns regarding possible contamination resulting from previous on-site operations, and possible impacts from an adjoining National Priorities List (NPL) site where cleanup activities were ongoing. Under the brownfields program, the developer conducted assessment activities and a cleanup and closure of the former flood drain/sump collection system at the facility. The brownfields agreement for the property contains land use restrictions to protect against possible exposure to impacted groundwater that may encroach onto the property from the NPL site. The agreement has also provided liability protection that enabled the developer to perform necessary repairs at the facility and restore the site to productive reuse for warehousing purposes.
STATE FARM ROAD PROJECT - September 2001
Boone, Watauga County
Sometimes it is the growth of light industry in an area that drives residents away creating abandoned residential property. Light industry had grown up near this property and the groundwater beneath the site was contaminated with chlorinated solvents from an upgradient tool manufacturing facility. While the tool manufacturer was under an enforcement order for cleanup, the property languished abandoned. The prospective developer proposed a medical office complex on the site (as it is near the local hospital) with the strong support of the town, but needed a brownfield agreement to make it happen. The brownfield agreement restricts the use of groundwater and eliminates a flowing spring on the site that was formerly a point of contaminated water discharge to surface water. The cleanup action of the tool manufacturer will continue to address the groundwater in the area and the developer will sample any surface water discharges in the future should the spring reappear. The abandoned property will now see new life and lower public health risk.
The original textile manufacturing facility on this 106-acre site was constructed in 1961 as part of the textile industry's growth in the eastern portion of North Carolina. During its operational history, the facility produced cotton and cotton-blend fabrics. As has happened so often in the state as the textile industry has struggled and faltered, Alamac Knit Fabrics Inc. (Alamac) ceased operations at the site in 1999, and as a result, hundreds of jobs were lost in this rural community. Penco Products Inc. (Penco), the nation's largest manufacturer of school lockers, identified the Alamac facility as an excellent candidate for the consolidation of its Oaks, Pa. and Vicksburg, Miss. manufacturing plants, and the realization of this business plan was made possible by obtaining the liability protection provided by the brownfields agreement on the property. Chlorinated solvent contamination in groundwater at the site is being actively remediated by Alamac under a corrective action plan with the Division of Water Quality's Groundwater Section. In conjunction with Alamac's remedial effort, land use restrictions and groundwater monitoring requirements in the agreement will ensure the full protection of public health and the environment. Penco's operations at the facility will employ state of the art, non-polluting technologies, and its redevelopment of the property will involve an estimated $11 million in private capital investment, and the creation of approximately 350 jobs over the next 3 to 5 years, the great majority of which will be filled from the local community.
Located in the heart of the Capitol city and adjacent to North Carolina State University, this property houses a mix of retail operations and parking lots. Time, neglect and changing traffic patterns took a toll that left the area dilapidated and underused, until the brownfields agreement was signed. Now, land use restrictions and contingent action requirements will address the petroleum and solvents in both groundwater and soil. Soon, the area will be home to a private dormitory for university students and an updated retail complex to serve the residents and nearby community.
Job flight had already hit this manufacturing-dense county hard. So when plans were mentioned to redevelop the old abandoned boatyard nobody thought was "good for anything," I guess we can understand that the residents weren't all that excited. But by the time the lead-contaminated soil (from pouring keels for sailboats) was excavated and land use restrictions were put in place, folks began to get curious. Maybe this place is good for something, they thought, but what? How about a chair manufacturing facility in a county that needs jobs? Another rural redevelopment accomplished safely.
Rejuvenating this small business property helped the city of Charlotte meet two goals - reduce the number of dilapidated properties in the South End area and reduce the amount of retail flight to the suburbs. When Cost Effective Maintenance decided it needed to expand, its original destination was a Charlotte suburb - but a brownfields agreement gave this small business the freedom to stay in the city. The result was maintaining jobs in an area that badly needed them, less traffic emissions due to the lack of new commuters and a steady city tax base that might otherwise have been reduced. Sampling showed only the groundwater to be contaminated and the land use restrictions required by the brownfield agreement only restrict the use of the groundwater - a move with no negative impact on CEM's operations.
When the Singer Furniture Company left town, it took more than 200 jobs with it and left behind an abandoned manufacturing plant in this small rural town. Once soil sampling was complete, a combination of soil removal, capping and land use restrictions addressed the groundwater contamination from lead and phthalates. Now, the site is home to a light industrial employer and a mix of retail shops. That's no small achievement for this small rural town. Whoever said brownfields were just for "big cities" should visit Chocowinity for a quick lesson in rural redevelopment!
In addition to acting as a catalyst for redevelopment, this property also serves as a time capsule. First, it neighbors a defunct coal gas plant that used to supply Charlotte's residents with light before the World War II. Second, the building used to house an industrial services firm, part of the economic engine that made up the post-war boom. However, over the years the property had fallen into disrepair and partial abandonment. But a brownfield agreement changed all that with caps and land use restrictions that made the site safe for redevelopment. Today, this brand new mixed-use development serves as a model for smart growth. With retail and studio space on the ground floor, jobs have returned to the area. The office space and residential units above pose a triple play: more jobs, a rejuvenated city center and reduced emissions because the residents don't need to commute. Now that's smart growth.
Retail flight from the inner cities poses great hardships for both nearby residents and their cities. City dwellers - who may lack transportation - often have to travel far for the slightest errand. Meanwhile, municipal expenditures must be cut to compensate for the loss of property taxes and jobs. Happily enough, a brownfields agreement reversed this at this formerly abandoned grocery store. Land use restrictions addressed the problems posed by chlorinated solvents in the groundwater and now a large, brand-new grocery store occupies the site. Strong support from the community, which was badly in need of a local grocery, was a key to this project - a project that shows just how large the quality-of-life impact from a brownfield redevelopment can be.
Like a phoenix arising from its own ashes, renewed and robust, the Pilot Mill has found renewed life in downtown Raleigh. Developer Frank Gailor's recipe for making this phoenix arise? Take one crumbling yet historic turn-of-the-century textile mill in downtown Raleigh. Add the personal commitment to refurbish the structure true to its original architecture. Mix in land use restrictions and caps to address low-level groundwater and soil contamination. When you hang out the "open" sign what do you get? A building full of unique office space that qualifies for a place on the National Register of Historic Places, a badly needed charter school to serve inner city students, and a $13 million property adding to the local tax base instead of a hangout for vagrants (that at one time the city was clamoring to raze!). This project defines the win-win nature of brownfields that protects public health and the environment while making possible such a valuable project.