Redevelopment guided by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources
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Exterior at the former Kansas City Terminal Railway yard before cleanup and redevelopment guided by the Department of Natural Resouces’ Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program.
Westside Business Park: “Phoenix Award” winner in Brownfield Redevelopment for EPA Region 7. - National Brownfield Conference, Portland, Oregon.
The Westside Business Park, a participant in the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program, received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Phoenix Award for excellence in brownfield redevelopment.
The award recognizes the site, located on Southwest Boulevard in Kansas City, as one of the nation's premier brownfield redevelopment projects. The agency chose 10 recipients, one winner from each of its geographic regions, to serve as models and inspiration for other communities seeking to revitalize their landscapes.
The 22-acre former rail yard, located in the heart of a historically Hispanic neighborhood, was used for servicing passenger coaches and locomotives from Union Station since the turn of the 20th century. Union Station hosted 80,000 trains per year at its peak. The trains were serviced at the Southwest Boulevard facility. The site was abandoned in the 1970s. Recognizing the rail yard as a key redevelopment site, the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation purchased the property from Kansas City Terminal Railway. The corporation enrolled the site in the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program.
Cleanup appeared to be a simple matter of lead paint, asbestos and underground storage tanks. However, widespread arsenic contamination was discovered throughout the rail yard. This contamination may have resulted from vast quantities of coal cinders used as fill material. The corporation did not have the funds to further investigate and clean up the site.
DST Realty Inc., a subsidiary of DST Systems Inc., acquired a controlling interest in the business park from, and teamed up, with the corporation to clean up the property. Cleanup included the removal of 60,000 tons of soil and cinders from the rail yard.
DST Output, another DST Systems subsidiary and the largest U.S. provider of bank and mutual fund statement printing and mailing services, expanded its operations into a new 240,000-square-foot warehouse and printing facility on the site. A prominent historic preservation architect used the original 1903 drawings to convert the 62,000-square-foot engine service roundhouse into a unique office space in Kansas City. The cleanup and redevelopment of this site represents a milestone for brownfield redevelopment in Kansas City's west side. The productive reuse of the site appears to be spurring other nearby redevelopment.
EPA presented the award at the Brownfields national conference in Portland, Ore. Staff from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources joined representatives of the corporation, DST Realty Inc. (by its legal counsel, Shughart Thomson and Kilroy), and The Forrester Group, the environmental consultants for the project, in accepting the award.
The award represents the fifth Phoenix award given to a Missouri brownfield site.
For more information about this project or to find out how to enroll in the Missouri Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program contact the department at 800-361-4827 or 573-526-8913.