In 2012, the City of Kent was awarded two United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Community-Wide Assessment Grants to provide up to $400,000 in funding to support the reuse and revitalization of properties within the City. In cooperation with the U.S. EPA, the King County Brownfields Program, a stakeholders committee and property owners, the City completed grant-funded activities in June 2017.
What Is a Brownfield?
Brownfield sites are abandoned or underused properties where there may be environmental contamination. Redevelopment efforts are often hindered by the liability for the cleanup or the uncertainty of cleanup costs. Brownfield sites that aren’t cleaned up represent lost opportunities for economic development and for other community improvements.
How Do Brownfields Impact My Community?
- Harm human health and the environment
- Limit job growth, economic development and tax revenue
- Reduce surrounding property values
- Contribute to neighborhood crime
Why Redevelop a Brownfield?
Cleanup and redevelopment can turn a perceived problem into a community asset. A restored brownfield can stimulate a community’s economy, save green space from development, and provide an opportunity for habitat restoration or park creation. A city or town can restore properties to active use, increase jobs and the local tax base, mitigate public health and safety concerns, and improve community image.
How Were Kent's Grant Funds Used?
- Created a city-wide inventory, which identified 77 potential brownfield sites;
- Identified focus areas and priority sites for redevelopment;
- Assisted property owners by funding environmental assessments for a total of 24 acres of contaminated land;
- Community outreach and stakeholder meetings;
- Held a design charrette to envision how 195 acres in the Kent Highlands Focus Area could redevelop;
- 11.3 acres redeveloped to date; another 38 acres in the process of redevelopment;
- 7 new jobs created to date; up to another 200 jobs may be created by redevelopment in the works;
- Additional $57,000 of public and private investment was leveraged to assist in these efforts.
- Kent Highlands Redevelopment Study
- Kent Midway Inventory Report
- City-Wide Inventory Methodology
- 6-8-15 Update to City Council Economic & Community Development Committee
- 10-4-16 Presentation at NW Remediation Conference
- 2-25-16 Daily Journal of Commerce, "Greenbacks Available for Local Brownfields"
- 4-22-13 Kent Reporter, "Kent Plans Public Meeting About Contaminated Sites April 23"
- 1-4-13 Kent Reporter, "Kent Hires Consultant to Assess Contaminated Sites"
- 6-29-12 Kent Reporter, "Kent Gets $400,000 EPA Grant to Study Contaminated Properties"