At the September 2020 meeting, the Invest Atlanta Board of Directors awarded two Brownfield Loan Fund (BRLF) grants – one to The Conservation Fund for the Paul Avenue Project and another to Trees Atlanta for the Warner Avenue Project.
A brownfield is a property whose expansion, reuse or redevelopment may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. Not only do brownfields contribute to potential health risks and environmental contamination, they also act as a barrier between communities and limit the full tax value of properties.
The BRLF is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After the City of Atlanta received an initial $1 million in 2009, the EPA awarded another $1.9 million in supplemental funding.
Paul Avenue Project
The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit focused on land and water conservation, received an $80,000 brownfield clean-up sub-grant grant for the remediation of 0 Paul Avenue, located in the Riverside Neighborhood of NPU D and in Council District 9.
The 0.2-acre parcel, along with other adjoining parcels on Paul Avenue, will become a 10-acre park owned and managed by the City of Atlanta Parks and Recreation Department.
The clean-up will allow the conversion of a contaminated site into a future public asset for the community that includes a new greenspace for the Riverside neighborhood, while also creating key trail connections for both the Whetstone Creek Trail and the future Chattahoochee River Trail. This project is also a key part of the larger Riverwalk Vision located in the Northwest Atlanta and Chattahoochee area.
“This is a real win for the city,” says Nathan Regan, Senior Vice President of Economic Development Invest Atlanta. “We are excited about the ability to clean up this site and view this as another way to make Atlanta a better and more attractive place to live.”
Warner Avenue Project
Trees Atlanta Inc. was awarded a $150,000 brownfield clean-up sub-grant for 825 Warner Street in Fulton County. The property includes approximately 2.9 acres of land and is developed with a one-story, 23,000-square-foot warehouse building constructed in 1952.
Before acquiring the property in July 2019, Trees Atlanta filed for a limit of liability protection under the Georgia Brownfield Act. A provisional limit of liability was issued to Trees Atlanta by the Georgia EPD for concerns of lead in the soil.
As a result of this clean-up project, the Trees Atlanta Urban Ecology Center will have indoor and outdoor programming, including a 21,000 square-foot facility for office spaces, community education spaces, as well as storage and workspace for tree planting implementation. Office space for other community-based nonprofits also will be available in the building.
“What’s really amazing about this project is that it’s currently an industrial site,” says Nathan Regan, Senior Vice President of Economic Development Invest Atlanta. “This grant will allow Trees Atlanta to remediate the site and turn it into a better use for the community and the city.”