A Cleveland-based environmental reclamation company will begin demolition and remediation next month of the 20-acre Hooven and Allison Cordage Co. site. that has sat abandoned for the past decade.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a long, long, long time,” Jim Percival, city manager, said Thursday prior to the City Council awarding the $2.7 million bid to Environmental Management Specialists Inc. “This needed to be done for a long time.”
According to the company’s bid, work will be completed within 200 days of the signing of a contract.
“I am glad we are finally moving forward on this,” council member Dale Louderback said.
The city has worked for the past 5 years to get the brownfield site into useable condition. Working with the Clean Ohio Assistance Fund, the city secured two grants to determine the extent of the contamination and to fund the cleanup.
A year after the company shuttered the site in 2004, development group National Land Developers LLC, bought the property at sheriffs sale for around $130,000, said Steve Bordsky, city development director. The developer then started searching for investors for a proposed $50 million-plus bio-fuel plant at the site.
Part of that investment would have been $1 million for site remediation as the local share of the $1.9 million Clean Ohio grant the city received in 2011, Brodsky said. “The city acted as a facilitator by bringing potential investors together with the developer,” he said.
The investors never materialized. Facing the possibility of lossing the state grant, the council bought out National Land for around $230,000 earlier this year and appropriated nearly $1 million from the General Fund for the local share needed for the state grant.
When remediation is complete, the site will be marketed as a commercial or industrial site, said Brent Merriman, assistant city manager. He said some of the historical buildings on the site will be preserved, including the site’s landmark smokestack, if a structural engineer certifies its structural integrity.
Brodsky said there already has been some interest in the site.
“I think the city manager and the city staff deserve kudos for the work they have done,” said Michael Engle, council president.