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CHESTER, PA-The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has designated the site of a proposed $400 million mixed-use development along the Delaware River here a Brownfield Action Team project. The designation ensures the expedition of the permitting process for the project, which will see a former industrial site transformed into a soccer stadium, housing and retail.

The 80-acre property consists of several parcels that have, over the years, housed an ironworks plant, an electric generation station, a chemical manufacturing company, a waste treatment plant and an illegal waste dump. The site of the future 18,500-seat major league soccer stadium—a $155 million project itself—sits just south of the Commodore Barry Bridge. According to a DEP spokesperson, the site has already been cleaned.

The developers, Wilmington, DE-based Buccini/Pollin Group have received a DEP permit that allows the company to begin preliminary construction work at the site. Development of the site hinges on the stadium, which must be completed and ready for play by April 2010.

A parcel of land south of the stadium parcel, known as the Master Plan site, will eventually house townhomes, apartments and retail space, as previously reported by GlobeSt.com. The site has not yet been cleaned and a timeline for the completion of this phase of the project has not yet been determined, to DEP’s knowledge. Calls to Buccini/Pollin seeking further information were not returned as of press time.

Two more parcels north of the bridge include a superfund site that will not be developed and a piece of property that will become parking for the development. According to the DEP spokesperson, developments that are designated Brownfield Action Team projects receive priority review for their permits, which helps accelerate redevelopment of the site. Buccini/Pollin has already had its first permit, the national pollutant discharge elimination system permit, expedited, allowing the company to begin work on the site. Some projects that receive Brownfield Action Team designation also receive funding assistance, but this was unnecessary with the Chester Stadium project, which has received $30 million from the city of Chester, $10 million from Delaware County and $47 million from the state. The state funding came from a number of sources, including the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, DEP, the Infrastructure Development Program, Industrial Sites Reuse Program and the Housing and Redevelopment Assistance Program.

The total cost of the project is currently estimated to be around $400 million. Weston Solutions is providing environmental consulting for the land and Ardmore, PA-based contractor and construction manager T.N. Ward has been selected as the builder for the stadium. Once completed, the project is expected to create 900 permanent jobs and generate more than $300 million in tax revenues for the economically depressed area.

“This project will bring in a lot of revenue from visitors and provide a waterfront recreation facility that this area doesn’t have,” says the DEP spokesperson. “This will be an economic boon to a city that badly needs revitalization.”

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