Huntington Receives Two Brownfields Grants Totaling $812,590
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that Huntington has been selected to receive two Brownfields cleanup and assessment grants totaling $812,590.
EPA awarded a $350,000 Brownfelds Assessment Grant to the City of Huntington to continue environmental site assessment and develop reuse and cleanup plans for the 42-acre ACF Industries site. This site was used to manufacture, repair and service rail cars, and the majority of the site has sat idle for the past 20 years.
The City of Huntington has previously received more than $1.7 million in Brownfield funding from EPA. Brownfields grant funding was used to create a revitalization plan for the ACF site and adjoining properties known as the Highlawn Brownfields Innovation Zone, or H-BIZ. The plan calls for the 75 acres of flat land in this area to be used for mixed technology-flex space, research and development, health care expansion, light industrial and warehousing space, commercial and retail space, a new baseball stadium for Marshall University and green infrastructure improvements.
On January 30, 2020, the Huntington Municipal Development Authority purchased the ACF property.
The second grant, a $462,590 Brownfields Cleanup Grant, was awarded to Cornerstone Development Corporation to clean up the Prichard Building in downtown Huntington. The 13-story building was constructed in 1926 and operated as a hotel until the 1970s. Later uses included office space, storefronts, and apartments, but it currently is vacant. It is contaminated with inorganic contaminants and metals.
To help with the development of this property, the City of Huntington successfully sought to have the Census tract that the Prichard Building is located in designated as an Opportunity Zone. Cornerstone has now partnered with a Lexington, Ky.-development firm on a $36 million redevelopment project, 90 percent of the funding of which has been secured.
The redevelopment will result in 50,000 square feet of retail and commercial space on the first two floors and 100 units of senior-assisted housing in the upper floors. Cornerstone estimates approximately 300 jobs will be created as a result of the redevelopment project.
Mayor Steve Williams participated in a virtual press conference on Thursday, May 7, to announce the grants and thanked the EPA and Huntington's congressional delegation for their ongoing partnerships with the City of Huntington.
"What's fascinating about this is we have two historically distinct properties that have the opportunity of being repurposed." Williams said. "The opportunity we have with the ACF property is to transform Huntington into the economic gateway of the Appalachian region because of the property's proximity to Marshall University, our two hospitals, the Ohio River, and the Highlawn residential neighborhood.
"The Cornerstone redevelopment project at the Prichard Building is extremely exciting. For every dollar that is being put into cleaning up the property from the EPA grant, it will result in a return investment of $77.82. This grant will allow new life to be infused into this historic building."