Pacific States Steel declared bankruptcy and shut down its operations in 1978, instantly idling the 65-acre site and sending an adjacent area of related businesses and industrial operations into urban blight. A bitterly-contested pension and bankruptcy dispute resulted in a series of court-appointed trustees that tried unsuccessfully for more than a decade to clean up and redevelop the company's only asset — the abandoned steel mill. Meanwhile, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. successfully represented key parties in other areas of the industrial park on cleanup, entitlement, and redevelopment issues, resulting in the successful completion of a new 61-acre residential neighborhood, including a new school, park, and trail network, adjacent to the now-thriving Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station.
Catellus owned the largest property in the area next to the Pacific States Steel site. A former railroad asset, the 24-acre property had been used by a series of smaller business tenants for machining, salvage yard, agricultural, and miscellaneous industrial operations. Beveridge & Diamond represented Catellus in all aspects of the entitlement and pre-redevelopment cleanup process, including the development of portions of the site into a new elementary school and neighborhood park, and the creation of over 140 new single-family homes.
The neighborhood's next largest property owner, PG&E, Northern California's largest utility, owned a 30-acre surplus maintenance yard and storage area immediately adjacent to the BART station. With sales negotiations stalled based on entitlement and cleanup cost disputes, PG&E retained Beveridge & Diamond to provide advice on alternate transactional opportunities and structures. Based on this advice, PG&E successfully sold its property to Union City, California, for new transit village and community service facilities.
The final piece in the neighborhood revitalization program required resolution of one of the most vexing Brownfields challenges: managing long-term groundwater remediation activities with ongoing regulatory oversight on properties with single-family homes. Beveridge & Diamond was retained by Braddock & Logan to structure its purchase and sale agreement with McKesson Chemical, to structure its environmental insurance program, and to work with the regulatory agency overseeing the ongoing groundwater remediation program.
Building on its Brownfield redevelopment successes in Union City and elsewhere, Beveridge & Diamond represents a variety of private sector clients and local agencies in securing land use and environmental approvals for Brownfields development projects throughout California and in other areas of the U.S. Beveridge & Diamond also represents local land use agencies in developing and implementing Brownfields policies to encourage redevelopment, and in implementing a suite of local agency regulatory tools (including for example the Polanco Act in California) to expedite the cleanup and redevelopment of Brownfields.