ULC is committed to development and preservation of physical assets essential to meeting critical community needs in underserved communities.
Land and site preservation, as well as environmental remediation are priorities for our work. Our team has significant experience in evaluating the best path forward for each project keeping community and environmental best interests at the forefront of our decisions.
Some examples of our environmental remediation work to date include:
Mile High Vista – Avondale (West Colfax Neighborhood)
Vacant since the 1980s, this 2-acre site was previously occupied by two gas stations, a dry cleaner and residential structures. Phase I and II reports completed in 2010 revealed asbestos, benzene, and 1,2-Dichloroethane (DCA) in the soil and/or groundwater and underground storage tanks (USTs).
Following additional investigation and analysis, ULC and its development team proceeded with a Voluntary Cleanup Plan (VCUP) to address all compounds, including DCA. The VCUP was approved by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in February of 2011 and a HUD Environmental Clearance Letter was received in May of 2011.
By December of 2011, the property had been cleared of petroleum-impacted soils (approximately 7,000 tons) and miscellaneous areas of asbestos-impacted soils under a State-monitored process. Two Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUSTs) were removed and the area backfilled. Groundwater monitoring wells were sampled beginning in July of 2011 and ongoing monitoring continues to this date.
Today, the property is home to the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Public Library and a seven-story mixed-use building with 80 workforce and affordable apartments. There will be a final phase with up to 100 rental homes coming on-line in 2021.
38th and Blake (Five Points/RiNo Neighborhood)
In November of 2011, ULC purchased this 1.4-acre site located in a commercial and light industrial portion of Denver, across from what is now RTD’s 38th and Blake A-Line light rail station. As part of the due diligence process, Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments were completed. These assessments identified two 2,000-gallon underground storage tanks containing 550 gallons of weathered petroleum fluid (total), slightly higher than regulatory levels of tetrachloroethene (PCE) and benzo(b)fluoranthene in groundwater, likely due to an adjacent dry cleaner 50 years ago, asbestos and lead-based paint.
ULC worked with abatement contractors to inspect, test and remove asbestos and lead-based paint prior to demolition of the existing structure. ULC then worked with environmental contractors to safely remove and dispose of the tanks. A No Further Action letter dated 4/24/2012 was received from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment – Division of Oil and Public Safety (OPS). The site is currently under construction and will contain 66 permanently affordable apartments, available for rent in June of 2020.
Curtis Park Non-Profit Center (Five Points Neighborhood)
The Curtis Park Non-Profit Center was purchased by ULC in January of 2011. An assessment of the building found the gymnasium flooring material to be contaminated with mercury. They also found asbestos containing drywall mud, insulation, tile and mastic. Replacement of the gym floor was necessary to safeguard users of the facility and the environment.
The Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division (HMWMD) of the CDPHE provided assistance with the mercury abatement of the gymnasium. Colorado Hazard Control (the contractor) performed the removal and disposal work. After remediation and repairs, the site was reopened, and it currently houses Family Star Montessori School and office space for six non-profit organizations.
Thriftway (Westwood Neighborhood)
The 0.77 acre Thriftway site included an abandoned 5,836 square foot building which was in very poor condition and had been vacant for 15 years. There were environmental concerns due to the previous existence of an auto body shop, dry cleaner and underground storage tank at an adjacent property. Phase I and Phase II assessments resulted in findings of asbestos-containing materials and lead-based paint, mercury, the refrigerant R-152a and PCB- and DEPH-containing oils; potential PCE contamination of groundwater and subsurface soil from the dry cleaner, adjacent or nearby Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUST) and the nearby AAA Carpet Service site.
ULC acquired the property, abated/remediated environmental contaminants, and demolished the building in the summer of 2014. A No Further Action letter was received from the CDPHE in August of 2014.
Long-term plans for the site are to create a beneficial development based on community-identified needs. In the interim, the Thriftway Pocket Park was completed in December 2016. The Park includes a futsal court, walking path, seating areas, a playground, and community gardens.