Our thorough cleanup plan and environmental investigation will aid future contractors involved in development.
The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), a public-private entity, aims to redevelop a 130,500 sf lot in Grays Ferry, a South Philadelphia neighborhood that has shown signs of resurgence in recent years. In preparation, PIDC is seeking liability protection through Pennsylvania’s voluntary Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act (Act 2). Urban is assisting PIDC with the Act 2 process.
PIDC intends to demolish the structures onsite and prepare for redevelopment in line with the Lower Schuylkill Master Plan, which aims to establish a commercial and industrial area separated into three districts. The 1201 S. 35th Street lot is located just south of the proposed Innovation District. The site is also next to an area that will house upgrades to the Gray’s Ferry Bridge, which will include bicycle and pedestrian features.
The property — which is overgrown with vegetation and littered with trash and debris — consists of a reinforced concrete silo, a large storage warehouse, and a storage shed, which are deteriorating and being inhabited by the homeless. The site previously housed an iron foundry, an animal feed supplement manufacturer, and a propane distributor before Comcast purchased it in the 1990s for use as a cell phone tower.
Prior to work on Act 2-related tasks, we completed a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, which involved a site visit; interviews; review of local, state, and federal records; and preparation of a final report. We performed a building inspection and asbestos survey of the silo and conducted a thorough soil and groundwater investigation, with the assistance of several subconsultants.
Under our oversight, subconsultants performed a ground-penetrating radar investigation, dug test pits for an examination of subsurface soils, and installed groundwater monitoring wells. After collecting and analyzing numerous soil and groundwater samples, we prepared a Remedial Investigation Report/Cleanup Plan for the property. We also engaged our Construction Inspection department to estimate costs for demolition of the silo.
Our team will continue to work with the client and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection until Act 2 liability protection is achieved.
Working on abandoned properties presents a range of challenges. We made safety a top priority during our investigation. There were drums and containers onsite with unknown contents; solid waste and debris; and visible hazards, such as syringes and numerous containers of anti-graffiti solution. We took necessary precautions, including coordination with the local police, to ensure the safety of Urban personnel and the subconsultants working onsite.
Our thorough cleanup plan and environmental investigation will aid future contractors involved in development. We are performing additional tasks to help PIDC secure Act 2 liability protection for the site. Once the protection is secured, PIDC has the opportunity to transform this hazardous property into something beneficial to the Grays Ferry neighborhood and Philadelphia.