In 2006 property development was heating up in La Crosse, Wis. Copeland Avenue enjoyed revitalization with a variety of commercial businesses. The community thrived as developers transformed blighted, underutilized properties into productive businesses. NSD Hotel Associated, Inc. (NSD) saw an opportunity to develop a hotel, but it faced economic and environmental challenges as the economy shifted and the recession loomed.
The economy shifted very quickly, and it was particularly swift for hospitality projects. New hospitality projects were the first to feel the economic pinch. That made it even harder for the project to survive because the hotel was slated to fill a downtown property with past industrial use. NSD needed to identify a funding source and remediate the property.
That’s when Mike Keil, Developer with NSD called SCS Engineers. “To be successful, we needed to identify a funding source and remediate the property. The project simply wasn’t going to happen without those two things working together. SCS Engineers had the right combination of experience to help NSD overcome those dual challenges.”
Outcomes and Benefits
“Today a 92-room Candlewood Suites occupies the property. That’s a win for everyone,” says Keil. The property’s assessed value is more than eight times greater than before redevelopment, and trending upward.
NSD worked with SCS Engineers to identify and jointly apply for a grant to fund the project. “SCS Engineers used its deep expertise and experience helping developers apply for and win grants to fund brownfield development projects,” says Keil. Through collaborative efforts, NSD won $330,000 that enabled them to keep the project moving.
With the financial challenge satisfied, SCS Engineers supported the remediation portion of the project. SCS Engineers addressed a variety of problem areas on the property that came from its past industrial use including leaking underground storage tanks, lead and PAH-contaminated soil, and vapor intrusion. “The cleanup was a smooth process thanks to SCS Engineers’ deep experience remediating properties with a past,” says Keil. “They have relationships with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) that helped NSD through the remediation aspects of the project