Pioneer was hired by a joint committee representing partners of both current ownership and prospective buyers/developers after a competitive interview process for the South Campus Development project associated with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Pioneer acted in a lead consultant’s role on behalf of the development team, which was comprised of several different partners of various construction, development and financial firms.
The scope of the project encompassed approximately 2 Million square feet of land that was historically utilized by a variety of industrial and commercial businesses that operated at the site for extended periods of time since the 1900s. The past uses of the site included gasoline stations, auto repair shops, dry cleaners, various manufacturing companies, coal warehouses, and bulk petroleum facilities. Pioneer coordinated and assisted in the development of the initial sampling plan which required an understanding of numerous types of operations and the associated potential contaminants given the extremely varied nature of the past uses of the site. Since the development team wished to pursue a NFR letter from the state, Pioneer was integral in developing an overall remedial strategy and in framing the regulatory issues for eventual discussion and negotiation with the state. Once the initial sampling plan was implemented, the results were interpreted and subsequent phases of investigation were evaluated and remedial alternatives were formulated which took into account regulatory, business, and practical considerations for all parties.
This project also required a relatively extensive degree of risk assessment and analysis using the current state regulations of 35 IAC Part 742 (known as TACO) in order to determine the best approach to closure and subsequent redevelopment. The final remedial action plan implemented at the site was a combination of “hot spot” cleanup and practical risk reduction that allowed some impacts to remain in-place but capped by engineered barriers. More than 21 No Further Remediation letters were issued by the Illinois EPA due to the phased approach to redevelopment.
This project was one of the single largest development efforts in the city of Chicago and received various awards from 2004-2007 as a model for Brownfields redevelopment.