News Release: Environmental Services grant helps turn North Portland brownfield site into affordable housing
(April 11, 2019) - The Bureau of Environmental Services is awarding a $200,000 grant this month to assist in the final environmental cleanup of the former Wagstaff Battery Company at 2124 N Williams Avenue. The grant is made possible through a Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund awarded to the City by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011.
A brownfield is a property where past use has led to contaminated soil or water. There are over 900 acres of brownfields throughout Portland. They include places like former industrial sites, gas stations, and dry cleaners. Their former use makes redevelopment expensive and challenging.
The property will become a four-story, 61-unit affordable housing community. It is being developed by non-profit BRIDGE Housing with funding by the Portland Housing Bureau and Multnomah County. The building will include 10-units of Supportive Housing and will use the City’s right-of-return policy.
“This grant is an investment in our community, helping to create healthy neighborhoods, while providing deeply affordable housing in a historically underserved neighborhood. It’s a win-win-win. I’m proud to have the Bureau of Environmental Services support this project,” said Commissioner Nick Fish.
The value of the small grant in this larger project is to help the non-profit developer remove contaminated soil and restore an old industrial site into a neighborhood asset – a hurdle that other properties don’t face.
To date, the Brownfield Program has helped address environmental concerns on more than 100 acres in Portland, acting as a catalyst for new businesses, housing, and community gardens.
The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration. Learn more at: www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/brownfields.