Test pits at the failed Citadel development site near 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue turned up less asbestos contamination than previously predicted, city officials said Thursday.
Test pit activity earlier this year on six lots turned up trace asbestos on just one lot.
That means total cleanup costs will likely come in at about $1.1 million instead of the $2 million or more that was originally feared, senior city planner Claude Page said. The city has a $500,000 federal grant to help with the cleanup, so planners now estimate roughly $600,000 in city funds will be spent on the cleanup, which should be finished this summer.
The environmental cleanup is necessary because developer CKC-KC failed to properly monitor asbestos removal before some homes were torn down in 2006 to make way for a huge shopping center development. The project collapsed in a mess of environmental and financial conflicts.
In late 2011, the City Council approved a $15 million settlement to resolve lawsuits involving the developer’s creditors, which set the stage for the environmental cleanup and hopes for future development.
Page said the city has just signed a one-year contract for up to $34,000 with the Kessinger/Hunter commercial real estate firm to market the site on a local and national basis.
“They have a lot of connections,” Page said, adding that the goal is to find the best and most feasible project or projects for the site.
Development experts have said those projects likely will have to be phased in over time. Page said the city will work with surrounding neighborhoods, which have been waiting several decades for progress in the area, to make sure they support future proposals.