In the fall of 2011, Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), a not-for-profit community development organization established in 1974 in New York City, purchased the Hardesty Federal complex from the General Services Administration (GSA) through its Missouri-incorporated affiliate Hardesty Renaissance Economic Development Corporation (HREDC) — the organization’s first community development effort outside of NYC. Considered a bold and unique opportunity by AAFE, the organization embarked on the remediation and redevelopment of the 18.5 acres site that had been abandoned for close to 15 years, building on our community development experience and capacity through this large-scale, redevelopment effort that would be near impossible to develop in NYC due higher land costs. Through Hardesty Renaissance, AAFE would realize its vision for a large-scale, brownfield redevelopment project that would not only create innovative (and much needed) affordable housing, but would also become a community resource and job creating catalyst, promoting entrepreneurship and the local/regional farming system, while providing critical access to healthy and affordable fresh food…transforming Hardesty Renaissance into a live-work-eat-play destination for all in Kansas City.
While we’ve just begun what is a long-term re-development and remediation process for the Hardesty Renaissance site, by working closely with the GSA, Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), and the City of Kansas City Missouri, we are now close to completing phase one of Hardesty’s redevelopment—the clean-up and reactivation of “Building 11,” which is the first (and largest) of the six buildings on-site that will undergo renovation and redevelopment.
Since breaking ground on Building 11 in December 2013, HREDC has achieved the following milestones:
- In early 2014, HREDC contracts with Gerken Environmental to begin remediation of asbestos, lead-based paints, and other hazardous wastes found within Building 11;
- Necessary air monitoring, protection plan, and environmental/quality assurance approvals obtained to begin remediation work in Building 11, which commences April 2014;
- First phase of Building 11 remediation work completed in July 2014; Additional lead-based paint-dust stabilization and asbestos abatement work required for proposed building uses;
- September 2014, HREDC and City of KCMO develop revised scope of work required for issuance of unrestricted-use, environmental Certificate of Completion for Building 11;
- October 2014, HREDC re-bids second phase of Building 11 remediation work;
- November 2014, HREDC selects B&R Insulation to complete revised scope of work for Building 11;
- December 2014, the Kansas City Brownfields Commission awards HREDC a $400,000 clean-up grant to complete the second phase clean-up of Building 11;
- January 2015, HREDC and Missouri Department of Agriculture discuss recommendations from Invest Northeast Study and begin to develop business plan for a local food hub at Hardesty.
- February 2015, leasing and marketing activities begin for Building 11. HREDC identifies and negotiates with its first commercial tenant, a local, woman-led, KC health food company.
- April, 2015, second phase environmental remediation work commences in Building 11 and is scheduled for completion on July 1, 2015. Renovation and tenant fit-out work for Building 11 is anticipated for completion by January 1, 2016.
- May 2015, Renaissance Economic Development Corporation (REDC), AAFE’s CDFI-lending affiliate, announced it will offer micro loans to prospect tenants/small businesses at Hardesty.
- As of today, HREDC has cleared approximately 24,000 linear feet of asbestos containing materials; approximately 12,000 SF of lead-based paint has been stabilized; and around thirty 55-gallon drums of hazardous wastes from Building 11.
- As of today, HREDC has expended approximately $1.4 million in acquisition, remediation, and re-development expenses for the Hardesty Renaissance site.