EUCLID, OH-It’s still underway, and the completion date undetermined, but one thing is certain: when the office and industrial markets return, Bluestone Business Park will be ready–and green. Site work is well under way on the office and industrial park to be built on the former site of a heavy manufacturing facility vacant since 1999. The brownfield is being remediated in a sustainable fashion, says developer Ray Fogg Corporate Properties, a co-developer of the project with the State of Ohio.
“It’s the way development should be done,” says Mike Merle, president of Ray Fogg Building Methods, the design/build division of Cleveland-based Fogg.
Named for a mineral abundant in the area, Bluestone also had a number of undesirable chemicals from its manufacturing past, including acidic wastes from pickling metal that affected the ph balance of the soil. Materials that could not be mitigated were removed from the site, while other contaminants were rendered non-hazardous.
“It is quite a significant cleanup,” Merle says. But it was also a major step in returning the location to sustainability.
The project also requires the removal of the old foundations and metal work, which provided a surprise. “We had very detailed drawings, and estimated that we would have 40,000 tons of concrete foundation,” Merle says. “We’re at 85,000 tons now and predict another 10,000 tons before we’re done.”
The concrete and removed concrete are being recycled, to be used on site or in other construction in and around Euclid, also saving on transportation and fuel costs.
Eventually, the project will be home to 1.3 million square feet of office and industrial space, all built to at least a LEED Silver certification. Fogg’s other developments also are being built to LEED standards, including a wind project in Aurora, OH.
Bluestone’s location is its first major sustainable element, Merle says. Situated at the Interstate 90/Route 2 interchange at East 260th Street, and close to other freeways and the Ohio Turnpike, the project is in an already developed area convenient to area residents. Commuters will save approximately 500,000 gallons of gas a year. <p?"What makes this project stand out for us is its location," Merle says. "Instead of cutting down trees and bringing utilities out here, we have them, [already]."
The location also is helping Fogg earn 18 or 19 LEED points for the remediation, as well as five points for building in such a densely developed area. It also helped with working with the state, which awarded it a $4.3-million “job-ready site” grant, which also requires projects be built to LEED certification. The park also is located within a Community Reinvestment Area, which will provide 100% real estate tax abatement.
“When we applied for state grant, we said it made a lot more sense to bring jobs to people rather than bringing people out to the jobs,” in a far outlying suburb, Merle recalls.
A new road was just completed last week. However, because all projects are being built to tenant specifications, none will be under construction immediately. The company has designed several prototypes that it is marketing to potential tenants.
“We can deliver a building that is 20% more efficient,” Merle says. “That’s a real incentive.” Yet it made sense to move forward despite the lack of signed occupants.
“We had the grant and had to move forward, and construction costs are down this year,” Merle explains. “And when you’re developing industrial, you have to be shovel-ready.”
This week Fogg commenced construction of a new road to serve the new Bluestone Business Park. It is anticipated that the park will eventually be home to over one million square feet of “green” office and industrial buildings and over 1,000 jobs.