The lull before the storm

Right now we’re in a bit of a lull, and we want it that way. Soon after we began construction, we discovered that we were elibgible to become a Brownfield site, which means in our case that we have an obsolete building that will eventually serve a new purpose (from warehouse to business facility).  Being designated a Brownfield site means that 20% of the cost of construction can be compensated in a complicated form of tax credits, which in our case is more than pocket change. The reason we’re not moving too fast right now is that we haven’t received the designation yet, and we will be compensated for work done only after the approval. In March we’ll appear before the city council, and if all goes well, the document will get signed by the mayor, and then we’re good to go. In the meantime, though, we’ve got to stay obsolete.

Before we get to the council, we have to work through the Brownfield application, and our good friends at McDowell and Associates have been taking us through the process. In Phase I, we had to produce historical documents which detailed the businesses that have resided at the GG and any environmental issues that might need to be looked into. McDowell produced a novel-sized book of anything you’d ever want to know about the building and the grounds. For instance, we now know that since the building at one time housed a gas station, we need to look for tanks in the ground. The documents showed us that there were 2 gasoline tanks in the parking lot area and one under the southeast corner of the building. The one in the building was supposedly removed, and the ones in the parking lot were supposed to have been filled with sand. We had 2 things we needed now to consider: if the tanks had been taken care of properly, and if there had been any adjacent leakage.

So in Phase 2, McDowell came in for some soil sampling. They drilled 4 holes in the parking lot and a number inside, pulling up clay and sand for testing. We already know that there is no pervasive problem – there is only one small questionable area in a former grease pit in the parking lot. On Monday or Tuesday we’ll get the final results of the testing, and will take action accordingly.


The Phase I and II results will get sent to the city, and then the city will send an inspector over to declare the building functionally obsolete. The off to the city council, then the mayor, and at that point we’ll be picking up speed dramatically.

In the meantime, we’re taking care of small things, like painting the annex ceiling.


And of course, we’re meeting every Friday, presenting the week’s work to the group, who help us make sure we’re doing things the way we set out to do them. Here we are this past Friday. We won’t look this relaxed once we received Brownfield approval!


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