Brownfield Investment Initiative- West Side Investment

field and tanks SML.jpg

This project seeks to propel the revival of Laramie's oldest neighborhood which sits at the geographic heart of the community. Environmental pollution is woven into the fabric and history of this otherwise vibrant neighborhood, which today, continues to be burdened with the community's largest concentration of suspected brownfield sites. Additionally, some of the West Side neighborhood lies within the 100-year floodplain of the Laramie River, which can swell to 50 times its base flow discharge during spring snow melt, and has flooded out many residences as recently as 2010. The city is working with FEMA on flooding concerns, primarily through seasonal mitigation, assuring storm water run-off does not negatively impact the quality of the Laramie River.

With these concerns in mind, and through the implementation of the EPA Brownfield "West Side" Revitalization Project that the City of Laramie Received, the City of Laramie will incorporate site reuse option analyses and apply real estate strategies to prioritize opportunities and ensure the most feasible and beneficial sites/redevelopment areas are selected for environmental site assessment and site cleanup/reuse planning. Brownfield funding will be used to establish an effective brownfield program, engage the community and West Side stakeholders, and to create a comprehensive brownfield inventory prioritize revitalization opportunities, perform Phase I/II ESAs and conduct planning activities. With this organizational infrastructure, the City will develop a process to assess and remediate sites and facilitate public-private partnerships necessary to complete the revival of the West Side neighborhood. The project will include assessment activities at sites identified first through the inventory process, and then through Phase I ESAs and, finally, Phase II investigations.

Laramie's West Side is flanked on the east by the Union Pacific railroad and yard, and on the west side by Interstate-80. The West Side is home of Laramie's oldest brownfield properties, and also the highest concentration of assumed brownfield sites.

The goal of this project is three-fold; to propel the West Side neighborhood revitalization, improve the quality of life for neighborhood residents, and to remove any real or perceived barriers to private investment.

Recent Project Updates

The Westside Investment Project continues to make great progress related to promotion of investment opportunities on the Westside. As the City and Ayres Associates nears the 2 1/2 year mark out of the 3 year grant cycle major progress has been made and will continue to be made in the remaining half of a year.   Earlier this year (2019) 4 Phase I Environmental Studies were completed on 4 properties on the Westside.  Following completion of the Phase I Environmental Study 3 of the 4 properties were targeted for Phase II Environmental Studies.  The Phase II Environmental Studies field work was conducted in October of 2019 with an anticipated completion date of those studies coming early in 2020.  

While the environmental field work has been ongoing, further work related to the grant has been conducted.  A draft Land Use Plan has been developed for one of the largest properties within the program.  The Land Use Plan contemplates a mixed use residential and commercial development that builds and complements the existing Westside development, while providing new and exciting development  ideas for the area.  In addition, two other items are being worked on.  First is a branding exercise that will give the Brownfield Investment Initiative a logo that can be used for project related branding, as well as the potential for the Westside to use the logo for future endeavors if it chooses to do so.  Finally, a promotional video that will include site and building renderings and resident interviews is being developed that will allow the City to promote all that makes the Westside a great place to work and live, but also will provide concept ideas to those looking to develop and invest in the area.   It is anticipated that early in 2020 a public meeting will be held to unveil the video, gain public comment on the possible logos and provide the community an update on the progress made related to the grant. 

Important Documents

Laramie Brownfield Project At-A-Glance

EPA Grant Benefits

EPA Brownfield Assessment Fact Sheet

EPA Approved Workplan - City of Laramie

Cleaning Up Brownfield Sites

Reuse Possibilities for Brownfield Sites

Past Property Uses May Result in a Brownfield Site

Environmental Contaminants Often Found at Brownfield Sites

Timeline of Events

11/9/17: Official Project RFQ released

12/14/17: Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) Meeting/Presentation/Memo

12/22/17: Last day for questions and comments- UPDATED: Questions and Answers can be found here

1/4/18: Proposals due at 4 p.m., local time

Week of 1/8/18: Notifications of Interviews (if required)

1/16/18: Interviews conducted (if required)

1/22/18: COL notifies staff-recommended firm

2/6/18 or 2/20/18: COL Council approves Professional Services contract

7/16/18: First Open House hosted at Lincoln Community Center. 12-1 pm AND 6-7 pm-                                                                           UPDATED: Digital copies of presentation materials can be found here

8/28/19 - 8/29/19: WY-NE Brownfield Workshop - Scottsbluff, Nebraska

10/4/18: Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) Update and Memo

10/15/19: Phase I Environmental Study Field Work Conducted on 4 sites

4/23/19 - 4/25/19: EPA Brownfield Conference - Denver, Colorado

5/15/19 - 5/16/19: Brownfield Conference - Casper, Wyoming

6/6/19: Brownfield Advisory Committee Meeting

7/29/19: Brownfield Branding/Logo Design Public Meeting  

10/20/19 - 10/26/19: Phase II Environmental Study Field Work Conducted by Ayres Associates on 3 Sites

12/10/19 - 12/13/19: National Brownfield Conference 2019 - Los Angeles, California

Project Details and RFQ

In addition to the numerous potential brownfield sites within the West Side neighborhood, portions of the neighborhood lie within the mapped 100-year and 500-year floodplains of the Laramie River, which can swell to 50 times its base flow, and has flooded out many residences as recently as 2010.

With these concerns in mind, the City of Laramie will incorporate site reuse option analyses and apply real estate strategies to prioritize opportunities and ensure the most feasible and beneficial sites/redevelopment areas are selected for environmental site assessment and site cleanup/reuse planning.

This project will include assessment activities at sites identified first through the inventory process, and then through Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) and, finally, Phase II investigations.

The City of Laramie encourages submissions that 1) enhance efficiency of City projects and ongoing operations, and/or 2) consider all energy types, including traditional and renewable sources.

Preference will be given to materials, supplies, equipment, machinery and provisions produced, manufactured, supplied or grown in Wyoming, quality being equal to articles offered by competitors outside the State.

The full Request For Qualifications document can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: Though this project has been funded, wholly or in part, by EPA, the contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of EPA.