Brownfield Redevelopment

Yesterday morning, I met with Chris Harrell, the Brownfield Redevelopment Coordinator for the City of Indianapolis. Chris is energetic and visionary, and it’s good to have someone like him involved with community redevelopment. Here is a brief run down of the projects that I learned about in this conversation.

  • His favorite completed project was the conversion of the abandoned Ertal Manufacturing Corporation into Major Tool and Machine’s new headquarters on Dr. Andrew J Brown and 19th Street, which has helped retain 250 jobs which would have been lost to Ohio, and has even created 49 more jobs. The former site was so contaminated that the surrounding community led a protest march against it.
  • An upcoming redevelopment possibility is located at 2110 Columbia Street, where money has been secured from the state to to assess soil and groundwater conditions to transition to urban housing using green building practices. This will be a part of the emerging National Design District. The site is a former junkyard.
  • An emerging sector is a movement to turn brownfields into urban agriculture. He has received 9 applications so far. He’s been involved with the urban farming forum, hosted this year on Groundhog Day.
  • Mayor Ballard mentioned Urban Farming in his discussion of abandoned properties yesterday – interesting part is city has received increasing amount of urban infill lots and brownfield sites seeking assistance in transitioning to urban farming / urban agriculture reuse. Some are as large as 15 acres.
  • Everyone’s favorite foodie store, Goose the Market, is located on a former brownfield. The site was remediated and received a No Further Action letter from the state.
  • He organized a brownfield bicycle tour. This site has a picture and brief account of the event.

Comments 6

  • Awesome article! Very impressive and promising things to read it about. Thank you for the updates. 🙂

  • You're welcome.

  • What is his budget for remediation?

  • For which site in particular?

  • "Brown to green" is a good policy, good slogan, and it's a good idea when the contaminants can't get into the food grown or stored on a site.

    That analysis requires, naturally, site-by-site evaluation and tailored remediation. Creating the expectation that every contaminated site has the potential to be reused in this way is not a good idea. Sometimes the best thing is to reuse a site as an factory, as Major did.

  • That National Design Factory looks great! It is a brilliant idea, too. Thank you for sharing the news.

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