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ACRES Bulletin
October 2014

Redevelopment Outcomes

Here are the FY 2014 program results for fiscal year 2014. Every target was met nationally - and some goals were met by more than 200%!

GPRA GoalAnnual TargetFY14 Value

Properties w/Assessments Completed1,2001,659

Properties w/Cleanups Completed120133

Dollars Leveraged$1.2B$1.29B

Jobs Leveraged5,00012,377

Acres Ready for Reuse3,0006,390

Hilltop Regional Health Center, Tacoma, WA

Hilltop Regional Health Center, Tacoma, WA

Showing Success in ACRES!

Hilltop Regional Health Center in Tacoma, WA

For decades, fear of contamination from nearby gas stations deterred potential investors from the vacant properties along Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood.

A local nonprofit health care clinic, Community Health Care (CHC), located in the area since 1969, took the steps necessary to redevelop one of these brownfield properties. The clinic purchased a small corner lot that had at one time been an old grocery store, an equipment storage facility and an office space. Investors wanted to build a larger, multidisciplinary clinic that could provide the area with health care, especially preventive care, to lower income neighbors. However, before redevelopment could begin, possible contamination had to be addressed. And that's where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Targeted Brownfields Assessment Program became an integral part of the success story.

CHC purchased the 1-acre parcel at 1202 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, just two blocks away from the existing clinic. Because the site was surrounded by old gas stations, soil and groundwater environmental concerns needed to be researched. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department had worked with EPA for more than 10 years to assess contamination at former gas stations in the area. In January 2011, the department applied for assistance through EPA's Targeted Brownfields Assessment Program to evaluate CHC's new site. Under this program, designed to help minimize the uncertainties of contamination associated with brownfields, EPA directs a contractor to conduct environmental assessments to address the requestor's needs.

In April 2011, EPA and its contractor conducted a site visit to assess the old building and surrounding land. Soil borings and temporary groundwater monitoring wells followed. In September the final report brought good news. The Targeted Brownfields Assessment concluded that there was no contamination present, therefore a cleanup was not needed.

A $12 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration jumpstarted the nearly $26 million project. Another critical piece of the financing puzzle was new markets tax credits, which enable individual and corporate taxpayers to receive a credit against federal income taxes for investing in qualified community development entities in low-income communities. CHC raised $7 million in such funds. CHC also landed a $1.5 million grant from the state and an $800,000 loan from the City of Tacoma through the National Development Council's Grow America Fund. Rounding out the capital campaign were funds from private donors, corporations and private foundations, including 405 individual donations totaling $1,050,843.

In November 2013, construction was completed. The new three-story Hilltop Regional Health Center is a mixed-use development that includes medical and dental clinics, a primary care medical residency program, a pharmacy, specialty medical services, internal medicine and obstetrics, pediatrics and urgent care services. Retail space is available at street level. A multistory parking structure was also built on the west portion of the site. There's even a community room that people can use at no charge.

In addition to providing health care services, the facility is staffed with medical social workers who can help patients, including non-English speakers, navigate the challenges of dealing with insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. The new Hilltop Regional Health Center is also taking pressure off of the emergency rooms at the two nearby hospitals and reducing the burden on the health care system.

Nearly 140 permanent employees now staff the health care center which will serve an estimated 17,200 patients annually, 600 percent more than at the old Downtown Clinic. The clinic will be one of many businesses to help bring about revitalization in the area.

The EPA assessment contributed towards:
  • Redevelopment jobs leveraged: 237
  • Total redevelopment leveraged funding: $22,350,843
  • Green building performance: LEED silver certification
  • Benefit to community: priceless!
Hilltop Regional Health Center - then

The original corner store at 1202 Martin Luther King Jr. Way

Hilltop Regional Health Center Tear Down

An assessment concluded there was no contamination and construction could begin. These pictures show removal of the old building.

Hilltop Regional Health Center Shell


2015 National Brownfields Training Conference Announced

The 2015 National Brownfields Training Conference will be held in Chicago, IL, September 2 - 4, 2015 at the Chicago Hilton on Michigan Ave. Cosponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), this is the largest conference and trade show in the nation focused on creating more sustainable communities through land revitalization and economic redevelopment strategies and projects. Please visit the Conference Website for additional information:

Do you have a great idea for a speaker or presentation that you'd like to see at Conference? You can submit an idea for Brownfields 2015! The Conference "Call for Ideas" is also open. The deadline for submitted session ideas is November 3, 2014. More information on the "Call for Ideas," including our proposed "Tracks" for the educational programming can be found on the website here.

HMTRI Job Training All Grantee Meeting a great success!

On October 22nd and 23rd, the Annual HMTRI Job Training All Grantee Meeting took place in Alexandria, VA. The grantee meeting was an information sharing and peer-to-peer exchange event where a variety of topics were covered including: recruitment, curriculum development, leveraging resources, job placement, program marketing, and environmental health and safety. Representatives from various EPA program offices participated in providing information related to their respective programs, as well as representatives from OGC, and the Grants Office. ACRES grantee training was also available and the help desk provided additional support for attendees with questions. Representatives from NIEHS, OSHA, and DOL attended the event, as well as reps from the Office of Environmental Justice and the Urban Waters Program. Over 120 individuals attended the event.

BF AWP Grantee Meeting

An all-grantee meeting for the 20 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (BF AWP) grant recipients who started their grants in FY13 was held in Chicago (Region 5 offices) on September 30 - Oct 1. Representatives from 17 communities attended, sharing project information, project innovations and challenges. EPA regional and HQ brownfield and land revitalization staff also joined, alongside Groundwork USA, the Institute for Sustainable Communities and University of Louisville (the BF AWP technical assistance providers) and federal partners from Region 5 (including Small Business Administration, Economic Development Administration, Federal Emergency Management Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highways Administration, and the Departments of Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development).

Events & Training

Training Offered:

Getting Started (Beginners):
  For Assessment, RLF, Cleanup, and Section 128(a) Recipients just starting to use ACRES, this training will provide instruction on the process for submitting your property data and demonstrate how to use the tools and functions in ACRES. Approximately 90 minutes.

The Next Level (Advanced):
  For Assessment, RLF, Cleanup, and Section 128(a) Recipients that are familiar with using ACRES, this training will provide instruction on how to make ACRES work for you and your property scenarios, and the answers to some commonly asked questions. Approximately 90 minutes.

  2014/15 ACRES Training Dates (2 pm EST) details

  Getting Started (Beginners)
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

  The Next Level (Advanced)
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2015 National Brownfields Training Conference
  Chicago, IL, September 2 - 4, 2015

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

~ Margaret Mead ~

Frank's Tips

Frank Gardner is the Brownfields Coordinator and the Regional Data Coordinator at EPA Region 1. In this role, he works with recipients to help them report their activities and successes in ACRES. Frank Gardner

Quarterly Reports - on the way to automation

Team ACRES is very excited to report that you will soon be able to update your ACRES data and prepare your quarterly reports at the same time! This is a feature that many recipients have been requesting for some time. It will soon be possible for cooperative agreement recipients (CARs) to complete and submit their quarterly reports directly from ACRES. This new function will be rolled out gradually, starting with a pilot group of cleanup grant recipients in January 2015. After a quarter of working out any kinks with the pilot group, the option will be opened up to all cleanup grants recipients.

Features in ACRES

Team ACRES is continually improving the system in ways both small and large. Some are transparent to our users and others provide improved reporting (often as a result of a user's suggestion). Here are a few of the recent improvements:

For Project Officers:

Project Officer Module

The Project Officer (PO) module, accessed when the "Manage this Cooperative Agreement" button is clicked, has been simplified so its functions are much easier for the PO to both access and use. Functions that were not useful were removed (7 of the 10 functions). Information for the remaining 3 functions displays on a single page with collapsible sections. Links to the sections are available on the left side bar. The three PO Module functions are:
  1. Anticipated Performance Measures (not applicable for Job Training grants)
  2. Sustainability Information - this is currently a place marker for a new feature be added in the near future
  3. Closeout - as well as grant status, closing project officer name, and closeout date, this section now contains 2 text areas to record:
    1. Any Quarterly/Other Reports and Forms not Received
    2. Lessons Learned
The associated Review and Submit page has also been updated. It is shorter and easier to read. The page allows the PO to click a link to return to any section that might need updating before submitting for National Review/Approval. The PO module is available to project officers only for the Cooperative Agreements (CAs) for which the PO is the primary contact.

My Regional Cooperative Agreements tab

This tab has been modified to initially display only the cooperative agreements for which the PO is the primary contact and/or data reviewer. A new link is available at the bottom of the page that allows the user to see all associated CAs to which the PO is associated but not the primary contact/data reviewer. Click the link to display the associated CAs, and then click the Hide link to remove them from view.

If you have any suggestions for ways ACRES can make your job more effective, please let us know by contacting the ACRES Help Desk at or (703) 284-8212.

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