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Parker Poe plays key role in ReVenture Park transformation

Parker Poe has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its role in helping turn a site plagued with environmental problems into Charlotte’s first eco-industrial park.

Client Tom McKittrick and his company, Forsite Development, Inc., began the process of transforming the highly contaminated 667-acre Martin-Marietta, Sodyeco, Inc. Superfund site more than five years ago. Parker Poe helped negotiate the sale of the property, which is located along the Catawba River, as well as new legislation and various agreements that made the redevelopment possible, said Parker Poe Managing Partner Tom Griffin.

Thanks to McKittrick’s vision and Parker Poe’s legal assistance, ReVenture Park is now home to several green businesses as well as dedicated green space – quite a triumph for a site once listed on the EPA’s National Priorities List. It is heralded by the N.C. Brownfields Program as “a national redevelopment model that can be duplicated on dormant industrial sites scattered throughout the country.”

“One of our key roles was obtaining passage of state legislation to incentivize the development of clean energy projects on contaminated brownfield sites,” said Bruce Thompson, head of the firm’s Government and Public Policy practice. “That legislation will spur redevelopment of brownfield sites – and create new business and job development in Charlotte and other towns throughout North Carolina.”

Getting all the moving parts settled in an extremely complicated deal that involved the EPA, the N.C. Department of  Environment and Natural Resources, community groups and others was no easy task, Griffin said. The EPA’s Superfund Program for Region 4 recognized Parker Poe for what it called its “key role in the cleanup and redevelopment” of the site.

While a number of Parker Poe attorneys worked on the project over time, Griffin, Thompson and Associate Katherine Ross were singled out by the EPA for their particular efforts on behalf of the project at an official unveiling ceremony attended by Gov. Pat McCroy, Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter, EPA officials and others. McKittrick was honored with the EPA’s Excellence in Reuse Award at the event.