Coralville Residents' Vision for
Iowa River  is  Coming to Life
                                 Coralville,  IA
    .icture driving down Interstate 80 and, approaching Coralville, an Iowa
  town, you see a beautiful river—with a giant coal pile, an abandoned truck
  stop, an old municipal dump, and a rail spur next to it—not a pretty picture.
  Until recently, this was the view that greeted visitors arriving in Coralville.
  Now imagine arriving for a meeting at a new conference center with an
  exhibit hall and a hotel alongside the same river. As you stroll along a path-
  way on the river's edge, you rest at a gazebo and consider walking to Iowa
  City via a new pedestrian bridge. You may even picnic on the newly re-
  stored bands of the Iowa River. This more appealing scenario is what the
  Coralville community had in mind when it participated in a brainstorming
  session for the revitalization of the 157-acre, declining industrial park that
  had for so long been the gateway to Coralville. With the help of EPA, which
  in September 1998 awarded a $200,000 Brownfields Assessment Pilot grant
  to the City of Coralville, along with supplemental awards of $100,000 in
  2000 and 2002—and the $ 1,500,000 in funding leveraged to date as a result,
  this scenario is now becoming reality.
  Over the past 12 years, Coralville's City Council has been working to revitalize
  the old industrial park—home to heavy commercial and industrial businesses
  near the end of their life cycles. As commercial and industrial space became
  scarce in the city and residents often objected to using nearby space for
  these purposes, it became nearly impossible to bring new businesses to the
  area. As a result, assessing and cleaning up contamination at the industrial
  park became vital. To jumpstart revitalization, the Council first brainstormed
  different redevelopment  scenarios  and developed the  First Avenue
  Revitalization Plan, which called for a new convention center/exhibit hall
  and hotel.
  In 1997, a First Avenue Corridor Study identified $15.4 million in roadway
  improvements needed to provide necessary access to the park. These
  improvements are being funded by the Iowa Department of Transportation
  (DOT) with matching funds from city bonds. Phase  one  of these
  improvements was completed in 2001, including sidewalk repair and
  construction to improve pedestrian access—an important step as the park
  provides the only access to the Iowa River. In 1998, the city used Pilot
  funds to begin Phase two environmental assessments of the park, which
  along with three subsequent assessments have acted as  a catalyst for
  redevelopment. "After 12 years, the most difficult part was getting started
  with the assessment funding; the Pilot generated a lot of interest in the
  community, and even across the river—Iowa City is now looking towards
  the river for revitalization as well," said City Administrator Kelly Hayworth.
                                                     continued D
                                           JUST THE FACTS:

                                           •  Over the past 12 years, Coralville's
                                             City Council has been working to
                                             revitalize a dilapidated industrial park
                                             that stood at the city's gateway.
                                           •  The city used EPA Brownfields Pilot
                                             funds to begin Phase II environmental
                                             assessments of the industrial park.
                                             These and subsequent assessments
                                             have acted as a catalyst for
                                           •  The city has developed an Urban
                                             Renewal Plan and issued municipal
                                             bonds to fund development of a $58
                                             million convention center and 200-
                                             room hotel complex. These two
                                             projects alone are expected to
                                             generate as many as 2,000 jobs.
                                                                     "After 12 years, the most
                                                                   difficult part [of redeveloping
                                                                   Coralville's gateway area] was
                                                                 getting started with the assessment
                                                                 funding; [EPA's Brownfields] Pilot
                                                                  generated a lot of interest in the
                                                                  community, and even across the
                                                                  river—Iowa City is now looking
                                                                 towards the river for revitalization
                                                                           as well."
                                                                   Coralville City Administrator
                                                                         Kelly Hayworth

                                                                            For more information contact
                                                                            U.S. EPA-Region 7 (913) 551-7414
                                                                            Or visit EPA's Brownfields Web site at:
Since the former Hawkeye Truck Stop site was expected to be the cornerstone of the planned redevelopment,
the Pilot funded an assessment that revealed little contamination but reaffirmed the presence
of known mixed petroleum contaminants from two underground storage tanks (USTs),
one of which was a leaking underground storage tank (LUST). In the spring of 2000,
after the city purchased $10,000 in UST insurance, the state Department of Natural
Resources used $800,000 in LUST Fund monies to remove the tanks, pump out
five to six feet of standing mixed-petroleum contamination, and treat additional
chemical contaminants. The city also spent $12,000 to demolish a gas station
and restaurant on the site and purchased the property for $4 million.
However, plans changed for the truck stop site once public opinion was solicited
at open meetings  held by a Steering Committee created by the City Council.
Although residents still supported the conference center development, they wanted
the Iowa River to be the focal point of revitalization efforts. As  a result, a new
location adjacent to the  river was selected.
The second site to be assessed and cleaned up under the Brownfields Pilot was the
Crandic Railroad property, where a 5 0-year-old, 13 -acre coal pile once visible from the interstate
was removed. The University of Iowa, which leased the property from Alliant Energy, removed the coal as
well as a layer of asphalt and funded $225,000 of the cleanup. The soil and coal removed were not toxic.
However, from June 2001 until June 2003, the levels of cadmium that had leached into the groundwater will be
monitored. The city purchased the site for $ 1.8 million-$500,000 of which came from the Iowa Department of
Economic Development-and will use it for future mixed-use development and open space.
The third assessment conducted with Pilot funds is not related  to the convention center, but was a high
priority for the city because of the property's creek side location and its former use as a municipal dump.
Assessment results on  the Clear Creek property found ethelbenzene in the groundwater, which the city
plans to clean up using a technique called airsparging. In this method, compressed air is pumped through
water, separating the contaminants for removal. The city anticipates using a combination of private and
city funding for the cleanup.
The city has developed an Urban Renewal Plan, which enabled it to obtain a designation that allows
Coralville to issue municipal bonds to fund the $58 million convention center and 200-room hotel complex
in 2002. This includes the approximately $2 million purchase of 50 acres (eight parcels of land). The city
anticipates that construction on the project will begin in the summer of 2003 and that the convention
center/complex will open in 2004. Between the hotel and the conference/exhibit hall, 2,000 jobs  are
expected to be created.
The conference center and hotel have opened the door to plans  for a much larger redevelopment project
adjacent to the  conference center:  the IOWA Child project. The city plans to acquire the land (they have
already acquired approximately 15 percent of the 30 acres needed) that will be used to house an ecologically-
oriented learning environment that includes a 4.5-acre indoor rainforest with an aquarium, as well as
outdoor exhibits of Iowa's indigenous ecosystem including prairies and wetlands. The project is envisioned
as a learning laboratory for visitors, students, teachers, and researchers. It is anticipated that $230 million
in state, federal, and private funds will be needed to fund the project, which was originally planned for 80
acres of greenspace until the brownfields site came to the attention of the IOWA Child Institute. The
site's brownfields status, riverside location, and proximity to the conference center and hotel are well
matched to the  ecological project's aims. An exhibit about the location's brownfields history is a part of a
planned development that is expected to generate $ 116.6 million in annual statewide revenue and taxes as
well as $22.2 million in new wages.
Brownfields Success Story
Coralville, Iowa
                                             Solid Waste
                                             and Emergency
                                             Response (5105)
      EPA 500-F-03-013