Launch Slideshow

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Changing blight into beauty

Changing blight into beauty

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    From left: Todd Awe, president of TAG Realty; Amy Meadows, vice president & executive director of The Belo Foundation; Thom Hubacek, landscape architect/ project manager with Dallas Park & Recreation Department; and John Sallman, environmental department manager, principal with Terracon. Photo: David Woo/The Dallas Morning News

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    In 2002, EPA removed 30,000 sites from the Superfund list. Today, the U.S. General Accountability Office estimates the nation harbors 400,000 brownfields. CERCLIS stands for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System, which is EPA's database of Superfund sites. A regional version is called WasteLAN. Map: U.S. Conference of Mayors

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    Like much of downtown Dallas, the soil below this former surface parking lot and future site of Belo Garden is rife with potentially carcinogenic cinder from a fire in the late 1800s. The inset image shows the land's strata: native soils underlying a former brick-paved road followed by excavated soil. Photos: Terracon Consultants Inc.

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    Hargreaves Associates

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    Hargreaves Associates

    Here's what Belo Garden will look like when completed in 2012. The white arches are fountains.

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    The Hensley Field Operations Center is the only city facility capable of converting sedans, trucks, and other equipment to run on compressed natural gas. Photo: City of Dallas

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OTHER SUCCESSFUL REMEDIATIONS

Former brownfields compete for the development industry's most prestigious award.

At least three areas of former urban blight are among the 20 finalists in the Urban Land Institute's Awards for Excellence: The Americas competition.

Marty Jones, president of Corcoran Jennison Companies in Boston and chair of the competition's jury, says the projects “prove once again that building more than just ‘bricks and mortar' can be financially successful and also enhance the surrounding community.”

Chosen from 148 entries throughout North and South America, up to half of the finalists will be selected as winners and announced at the institute's Real Estate Summit in Phoenix this month. They include:

Denver's Riverfront Park. This new urban neighborhood located on a former rail yard was designed and built under form-based zoning and provides 1,400 residential units, 62,000 square feet of retail space, four parks, and a landmark bridge.

Developer: East West Partners

Master planner: Design Workshop

The Fitzgerald in midtown Baltimore. Part of a larger neighborhood redevelopment effort spearheaded by the University of Maryland, this former coal yard now comprises 275 apartments and 25,000 square feet of retail space adjacent to light rail and within walking distance of Penn Station.

Developer: The Bozzuto Group

Architect: The Design Collective

Tassafaronga Village in Oakland, Calif. Designed to soften the borders of an industrial neighborhood, this 8-acre site houses 157 low-income rental units and a medical clinic. Developer: Oakland Housing Authority

Architect: David Baker + Partners