ReVenture West signed a Brownfields agreement with the state of North Carolina that authorizes the development of the region’s largest eco-industrial park on a former 667-acre Superfund site in Charlotte, North Carolina.
ReVenture West is the first of three redevelopment projects that will make up ReVenture Park, which is expected to become a hub for renewable energy projects and anticipated to generate more than 700 new jobs. Located in northwest Charlotte, ReVenture Park is the site of a former textile dye-manufacturing complex. In 1983, the site was determined to be contaminated enough to be placed on the federal Superfund list for cleanup.
Clariant Corporation, the site’s owner since 1985, ceased dye operations at the site in 2005 and has spent about $40 million cleaning up contamination mostly caused by previous owners. ReVenture Park is partnering with Clariant to enhance the cleanup activities at the site as it prepares the site for redevelopment. ReVenture West is expected to produce about 245 jobs, $73.5 million in investment and up to $12 million in environmental remediation. ReVenture East is expected to bring 485 jobs and $235 million in investment.
“Old, unused manufacturing facilities shouldn’t be liabilities,” said Tom McKittrick, president and founder of Forsite Development, Inc., and the lead developer for ReVenture Park. “Developing an energy park on a dormant industrial complex is an opportunity where the private sector, public policy and environmental interests align to promote the clean energy economy. We are transforming liabilities into assets - the essence of recycling.”
The entire eco-industrial park will include businesses devoted to manufacturing; alternative energy research and production; recycling and regeneration of materials; post-secondary vocational and training facilities; utilities and waste water treatment; agriculture for fuel production; composting and land conservation. The ReVenture project also will include a 177-acre conservation easement that connects the Carolina Thread Trail to the U. S. National Whitewater Center. Wildlife habitat protection and enhancement is a critical component of the project.
“This project is an extraordinary example of how public and private sectors can partner to benefit the economy and the environment,” said Gov. Pat McCrory. “This brownfields project will create jobs and allow us to transform a once highly contaminated site into a new and thriving energy-related complex.”
Productive reuse of a property with such extensive regulatory history is rare because of the uncertainty in future cleanup liabilities. The brownfields agreement with ReVenture Park removes those uncertainties in a way that permits suitable redevelopment while continuing cleanup actions required to make the site safe for the proposed reuse, the Governor’s Office said.