Grants fund additional cleanup at Real Estate Recycling property
Real Estate Recycling has received approximately $390,000 in additional grant funding for the cleanup of pollutants at the former Lifetime Fitness site at Highway 100 and France Avenue South in Brooklyn Center.
The city of Brooklyn Center worked with the developer, which focuses on cleaning up and redeveloping polluted properties in the metro area, to apply for the grants from the Metropolitan Council and Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) during the last year.
They secured about $1.4 million from DEED and the Metropolitan Council and applied for more grants as the project continued and more pollutants were found in the soil, said Paul Hyde, a partner in the Minneapolis-based Real Estate Recycling.
The cleanup as well as construction of a 90,000 square foot office and warehouse building are complete and one tenant, OmniCare, has moved into the space, Hyde said. OmniCare is a medical supply company.
Both grants issued this month compensate Real Estate Recycling for some of the added cleanup costs to remove the additional pollution, he said.
“Being able to predict how much pollution there is underneath the site is impossible to do until you actually get into the site cleanup and see what’s there,” he said.
The Metropolitan Council grant is about $179,000 from its Livable Communities program and DEED issued about $211,000 to the city and Real Estate Recycling this month. Total, the property purchased by Real Estate Recycling is 8.9 acres.
Cities must participate in the Livable Communities program, which provides funding for afforable housing, mixed-use development, projects that add jobs and services as well as brownfield site cleanup, to be eligible for grants.
The former Lifetime Fitness site in Brooklyn Center, which also had a Denny’s Restaurant, was possibly contaminated from the former wood treatment operations of Joslyn Pole Yard Manufacturing, located to the north.
Real Estate Recycling invested more than $9.2 million into the project including the land purchase, cleanup, construction and building out spaces for each tenant, Hyde said. The grant funding leverages part of that private investment.
According to a press release from DEED, the new development brings 25 jobs into the community, retains 181 jobs and increases the city tax base by approximately $305,000.
Hyde said a second lease for a tenant to occupy part of the building is in the works and that business would have 60 jobs. There is another vacant space of 30,000 square feet in the building, he said.
Real Estate Recycling will use some of the grant from the Metropolitan Council to continue testing the groundwater at the site and ensure the cleanup efforts continue to be successful, Hyde said.
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