St. Louis Public Radio News
6:09 pm
Thu September 3, 2009

City gets $6.7 million from state to clean up old coke plant site

St. Louis – The city of St. Louis will receive nearly $7 million in state brownfield tax credits to clean up the largest tract of unused land owned by the city.

The city took control of the Cardondelet Coke site in south St. Louis at a foreclosure sale in 1994. It's been vacant for nearly two decades.

Developer Phil Hulse tried to develop the site in 2006, but said he could not afford to clean up 54 acres of soil heavily contaminated with coal byproducts. He now plans to build a 650,000 square foot commercial warehouse development on the site, for which he sees plenty of demand.

"If you look to the north of us we have New World Pasta which is a major international company that is landlocked, Italgrani is landlocked, those are two big players down here," he said.

Economic development officials said building on the site could start in 12 to 16 months; the entire clean-up and construction will likey take four to five year. The entire clean-up and construction could take four to five years.

"This project shows the importance of the brownfield program," said St. Louis mayor Francis Slay. "Otherwise you have large tracts of property like this, in urban areas particularly, that would just lay like this forever, because they can't be developed on, nobody will develop on them."