State-funded initiative to clean up pollutants at old coal plant; project to create more than 360 jobs in St. Louis City
Gov. Jay Nixon and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay today visited the site of the former Carondelet Coke Corporation in St. Louis to announce the state's approval of a major revitalization investment that will transform the vacant buildings and 40-acre lot into a modern commercial and industrial park. The Missouri Department of Economic Development estimates that this project, funded in part under the state's Brownfield Redevelopment Program, will create at least 363 jobs in the city.
With this approval, the Missouri Department of Economic Development will invest $6.73 million in Brownfield Remediation economic incentives to help clean and remove pollutants and contamination from the area. Carondelet Coke was a large coal-gasification and coke-production facility; consequentially, the site faces significant ground contamination as well as the presence of asbestos. The developer of the new commercial park, Green Street Broadway Investors LLC, plans to remediate the site, demolish the existing structures and construct six new buildings totaling approximately 630,000 square feet.
"Cleaning up this old coal plant will be great for Missouri's environment and great for our economy," Gov. Nixon said. "By removing these pollutants and constructing modern buildings, we'll be transforming this area and creating hundreds of new jobs, both in construction and in the industries that will occupy this site in the future. I'm proud that my administration is playing an important role in this clean-up and revitalization process, and we look forward to working closely with the City of St. Louis in the months to come to make this transformative project a reality."
During the visit Mayor Slay expressed similar sentiments. "This site has tremendous potential. It is large with access to highway, river and rail transportation," Mayor Slay said. "It has been a vacant eyesore for a long time because of the environmental contamination. Today's announcement means we can clean up the site and put it back to productive use. I want to thank Governor Nixon and the Department of Economic Development for their vision and commitment to the people of St. Louis."
In addition to support from the state, former owners of the property, Laclede Gas and SGL Carbon, have also participated in the success of this project, contributing to the revitalization and environmental restoration of the property.
Clean-up and remediation work on this project is expected to begin in the next several weeks and the entire clean-up process should take approximately 12 to 36 months.
Missouri's Brownfield Redevelopment Program provides economic incentives to assist with the redevelopment of commercial and industrial sites that are contaminated with hazardous substances and have been abandoned or underutilized for at least three years. In addition to other criteria, Brownfield projects must create at least 10 new jobs or help retain at least 25 existing jobs.
In the case of financial incentives awarded under the Brownfield Remediation Program, as is the case with the Carondelet Coke project, the final portion of the economic incentives is not awarded until the Missouri Department of Natural Resources certifies that the site is clean.
Development on the Carondelet Coke site began as early as the 1700's. In 1980, Great Lakes Carbon Corporation sold the plant and property to Carondelet Coke. The plant closed in 1988.