By Lisa Capobianco
The former property of Ideal Forging is one step closer to redevelopment as environmental cleaning took place during the past several weeks at the abandoned property.
Meridian Development Partners reported that a variety of manufacturing chemicals and oils were removed along with hundreds of fluorescent light ballasts that were left by Ideal Forging when it abandoned the site during bankruptcy.
Meridian Architect Howard Schlesinger said ground water remediation is expected to begin in the coming weeks, followed by preparations for demolition and remediation.
Economic Development Coordinator Lou Perillo said residents and local businesses have been anxiously waiting for the Greenway Commons Project to move forward. Before the environmental clean up, there has been little activity since August 2011 when some buildings on the property were demolished.
Earlier this year, town and state officials approved a “tax increment financing district” for the Greenway Commons Project. The plan is to turn the property into a residential area with at least 250 condominium units and some retail space.
“I think the response is going to be very positive,” Perillo said. “We’ve seen a high level of interest in a pedestrian-friendly living space.”
Perillo thinks the Greenway Commons Project will attract a younger demographic, especially for college graduates. He said the project’s location has a lot to offer young adults since it will be near all the shops, restaurants and other businesses downtown.
“There’s a trend that is shying away from small, suburban lots,” Perillo said. “It seems that in that demographic there’s less use of the automobile [and] more physical involvement.”