March 23, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
A brownfield development site on Driggs Avenue is set to begin an extensive environmental cleanup later this month by real estate investment firm Hampshire Properties.
Hampshire Properties, which plans to develop a six story mixed-use building on the contaminated site, is about to begin the cleanup of the 510 Driggs Ave. site, which was the former location of a gas plant and several other manufacturers, including transformer manufacturer Sterling Transformer Corporation. The site’s building was demolished in 2006 and the property has been used as a parking lot ever since.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation approved the property as a brownfield site under the state’s cleanup program dedicated to protecting public health while encouraging redevelopment of contaminated properties. Developers that perform cleanups through the State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program are eligible for tax credits to offset the costs of the cleanup and redevelopment.
The cleanup process of the Driggs Avenue property will be carried out by the property owner, but will be overseen by the DEC. A number of known carcinogenic, petroleum-related toxins have been found in the site’s soil and soil vapor, with data showing potential off-site impacts from the soil vapor.
During the remediation process, the site’s soil will be excavated to 15 feet below the surface, delving as far as 25 feet in chemical-heavy areas. The soil will be dug up, removed and replaced. Once the excavation and replacement are complete, the site will be covered with a lawyer of asphalt or concrete.
To ensure that air quality is not affected during the remediation work, a community air monitoring plan will be implemented throughout the process.
In June of last year, Hampshire Properties filed plans for a six-story, 44-unit building on the property. The building is set to have 12,823 square feet of commercial space, as well as 111 enclosed parking spaces, storage for 82 bikes, and other amenities such as indoor and outdoor recreation rooms, a fitness room, and a rooftop terrace.
Hampshire Properties purchased the property in 2017 for $27.8 million, according to city records.