Phase I of site remediation was completed in April 2015 to make the site compliant with the Special Industrial Area provisions of the DEP Act II voluntary cleanup program. The work was supported with $354,000 from the City of Allentown’s EPA-funded Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund. This indicates that all state Land Recycling Program cleanup requirements protecting human and environmental health are now complete at the site.
Next, AEDC and the City of Allentown jointly applied for and were awarded $400,000 in supplemental funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct the second phase of remediation at the site. The City provided AEDC with a $376,000 of the $400,00 in the form of a loan to conduct additional remediation at the site that is presently underway and will be completed this summer.
“While not required by Act II this work will make the site more marketable and improve its position for redevelopment,” explained Scott Unger, Executive Director of AEDC. “The work will remove asbestos containing materials and remediate some areas of lead-based paint. A portion of the remediation will occur in several smaller buildings to prepare them for demolition, which is planned to take place this summer.”
Following the selective demolition, work to rehabilitate the first of the three remaining buildings will also begin later this year, funded in part by a $2 million loan through Pennsylvania’s Business in our Sites Program. The project will be completed in phases resulting in more than 200,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space that has the potential for future rail service.
WHY THIS SITE IS IMPORTANT
The redevelopment of Allentown Metal Works property in South Allentown along the Little Lehigh Creek is a key project for AEDC. Once the 17-acre-site is fully redeployed, it will be home to one or several manufacturers with the potential to support 75-400 jobs. There are three existing buildings totaling 218,000 square feet on the site, several with extra high ceilings, heavy crane capability, and the potential for rail service.
AEDC has already invested $1.2 million in acquisition and remediation. “We are seeking additional private sector investment that will allow us to accelerate the redevelopment timelines, leverage state and federal grant funding pledged for the project, and assist with costs that do not qualify under grant programs,” said Unger.