Norstar Development – Gardenview Estates

Detroit, Michigan

TEC was retained to conduct a Phase I ESA at the Former Herman Gardens Housing Development. The 140-acre Site had formerly housed over 200 multi-unit residential dwellings; as well as a low-rise elderly care facility, school, community center, heating plant, maintenance building, two auto service garages, and several service buildings. The Herman Gardens Housing Development was demolished in several stages in the late 1990s.

TEC has worked with Norstar Development USA, LP (Norstar) to develop low and mixed income rental housing at the Gardenview Development (the former Herman Gardens Development). Environmental Engineering Services scope for the Norstar portions of the Site (approximately 12 acres) included many Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) and associated Updated Phase I ESAs, several Subsurface Investigations (Phase II ESAs).

TEC also provided geotechnical engineering services including soil borings and test pits to satisfy MSHDA requirements and meet the construction and development goals.

The Phase II ESA activities confirmed the presence of two fill horizons; site derived demolition debris fill and suspected imported fill. The investigations also indicated exceedances of Generic Residential Direct Contact Criteria for arsenic and several Polynuclear Aromatic Compounds (PNAs). TEC worked with MSHDA and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to create an environmental strategy to adequately assess the extent of the contamination and fill at the Site.

TEC then devised a plan to limit the exposure of future residents to the contamination by creating a Due Care Plan (Section 7a Compliance Analysis) that incorporated the use of exposure barriers. The exposure barrier approach was approved by MSHDA and the MDEQ and allowed for the continued construction and development of the rental units on the Site.

TEC continued to work with the contractor at the Site to review the Due Care Plan implementation to ensure proper placement and maintenance of the exposure barriers. The environmental investigations were used by Norstar and legal counsel to obtain over $3 million of MEGA SBT brownfield funding.