Brownfields, Remediation, Due Diligence: Former Industrial Site to Mixed Use Residential

Florida Crystals Investment Corporation, FCI Residential Eleven, LLC (FCI) purchased former warehouse properties in Tampa’s up-and-coming Channelside district. The goal – convert these former industrial properties to mixed-use residential multi-family housing and retail development.

Environmental Challenges 

SCS identified environmental challenges during due diligence, including a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, asbestos survey, and lead-based paint inspection. The Phase I ESA revealed two potential on-site discharges; therefore, SCS conducted a site assessment under Chapter 62-780, FAC, and identified soil and groundwater impacts above regulatory limits. Chapter 62-780 requires delineation of groundwater and soil until locating the edge of contamination, which would have required sampling outside of the property boundary.

By reviewing the Channelside area’s history through Sanborn Maps and historical aerial photographs, SCS found that dredge spoils were placed in this area years ago. From these findings, we could conclude that the contamination levels found were not likely from an on-site discharge by the former occupant, a tire and rubber company, but rather from the area-wide placement of dredge spoils. SCS worked with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to approve no off-site sampling.

Working with FCI on the building layout and soil management plan, SCS created engineering controls avoiding the need to remove soil from the site. For worker safety during construction activities, SCS completed a Soil Management Plan for the site. SCS had the site designated as a Brownfield and assisted FCI’s entering into a Brownfield Site Redevelopment Agreement.


Outcomes and Benefits

Working with the FDEP, SCS received conditional site closure through an alternative method using engineering and institutional controls. These strategies saved FCI over $300,000 in remediation costs and kept the project timeline on track. Also, SCS helped FCI enter into the Brownfield Program, which ultimately entitled FCI to substantial tax credits.

Now, the Fitzgerald Channelside Luxury Apartments are Tampa’s epicenter – vintage streetcars, waterfront pedestrian trails, and water taxis connecting residents to downtown Tampa’s dining, entertainment, and recreation.