Salvation Army Kroc Center Brownfield Redevelopment

Chicago, Illinois, United States

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For years, this site consisted of a pile of rubble and overgrown weeds, heavily contaminated with PCBS and other contaminants after a heavy manufacturing company and foundry closed, rendering the site useless.  That is, until The Salvation Army (TSA) and the City of Chicago designated the site a Brownfield and turned the story around.

The Ray and Joan Kroc Corp Community Center project redeemed 32 acres of contaminated property to a residential standard at a significant cost savings. Previous owners attempted to clean up the PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) contaminated soils with limited success. The original budget for the City and TSA was $11 million to finish the cleanup. With AECOM’s assistance, a plan was drawn up to remove the remaining PCBs from the site and bury the oil-based contaminants. A 30-foot hole, termed the import/export reduction zone (IRZ) would be dug in which to bury the contaminated soil deeply in a remote part of the facility. The clean clay/soil from that hole was used as the new top soil and engineered barrier under the parking lot, tennis courts and outdoor basketball court.  The cost to clean up the site plummeted to only $3 million – the City of Chicago had never seen a project do more for less money. There are also very few projects willing to take a brownfield and bring it up to residential standards where kids can run and plan.

With cleanup completed, the City developed the site into a facility to provide a variety of important services to the surrounding community.  The new community facility provides job training programs, sporting activities for high school students, and several educational programs in athletics and the arts. In addition to these services, the project benefits the local economy by creating hundreds of  construction jobs, 200 full-time jobs, and 70 part-time permanent or seasonal jobs. It is projected to raise $25.3 million in new tax revenue by its ten year anniversary, and will help generate over $350 million in economic output over the next two decades.

The project was awarded 2011 Phoenix Awards under the following categories: USEPA Region 5 Award, the 2011 People’s Choice Award and the 2011 National grand prize award. The project also received LEED Silver Certification, partly based on the sustainable development on-site solution to the contamination issues.

AECOM helped negotiate the cost saving IRZ remedial solution, and provided remediation oversight of the installation of engineered barriers (building footprint, parking lots, and landscaping) and underground storage tank removal services.

Additional Services:

  • Phase I Environmental
  • Site assessment
  • Development of alternate remedial designs and costs
  • Design vapor intrusion
  • Barrier
  • Oversight of remediation