Tanner Street Economic Development Plan

Tanner Street District Overview

The Tanner Street District is a unique area of the City that blends heavy industry with residential uses over approximately 125 acres of land in Lowell's Sacred Heart neighborhood. Much of the area is zoned for industrial uses, with commercial and residential uses permitted along its periphery. The Tanner Street District is one of only a few active industrial areas left in the City of Lowell. As currently defined, the area includes properties along both sides of Tanner Street, from Howard to Plain Streets, and is bound by the River Meadow Brook and Lowell Connector Highway to the west and the Boston and Maine Railroad/MBTA tracks and Lincoln Street to the east.

With direct access to the Lowell Connector Highway and located within close walking distance to Gallagher Terminal, Lowell's public transit hub with direct commuter rail access to Boston, the Tanner Street District is uniquely positioned to transform itself into a sought-after industrial corridor. The heavily underutilized River Meadow Brook, running along the western edge of the district, provides a great opportunity for public recreational use as a district-wide multi-use path, which can connect to Lowell's larger system of multi-use paths. The potential to establish Tanner Street as a transit-oriented neighborhood for both industrial and residential uses through the targeted redevelopment of underutilized properties is highly innovative and unique.

Contained in the Tanner Street district are several known brownfields sites and one known National Priorities List (Superfund) site (Silresim Chemical Corp.), as determined by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Searchable Sites List. Groundwater contamination from the Silresim Chemical Corp. site is said to extend to nearly 16 acres of property in the Tanner Street area. Soil Contamination extends for nearly 7 acres.

Tanner Street District

In November 2010, the City was awarded a "Brownfields Area-wide Planning Grant" from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to focus on district-wide planning for the Tanner Street area of Lowell. The City, through the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), secured this grant in order to explore the potential for establishing an urban renewal district for the Tanner Street area. In April 2011, following an extensive request for proposals (RFP) and selection process, the City secured Crosby| Schlessinger| Smallridge (CSS) of Boston as the lead planning consultant to tackle the Tanner Street urban renewal district planning effort.

A key component of the Tanner Street District planning effort is the completion of a market research study, which will provide a realistic picture of the types of industries and development that can be supported and targeted for the Tanner Street district given existing and future market conditions. Bartram and Cochran (B&C) of Hartford, CT was selected as the market research consultant to complete this study.

The Tanner Street District Economic Development Planning process will continue throughout 2012. The City and the consultants are eager to hear from the community to formulate the vision for the District.

Related Links

Silresim Superfund Site

The Tanner Street District is home of one of the most environmentally contaminated sites in New England - the Silresim Superfund Site. Formerly home to the Silresim Chemical Corporation, this site of just over four acres on Tanner Street has been under government control since the company declared bankruptcy and ceased operations in 1977, leaving behind over 30,000 drums of chemicals. Since 1982, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has operated on-site groundwater treatment.

Most recently, the Silresim Superfund Site was awarded a $20 Million investment from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2010. This funding will bring the site into the final phase of completing cleanup construction, using innovative technology which will reduce the amount of time needed to clean groundwater of contamination. Since mid-2010 work has commenced to install and implement a thermally-enhanced soil vapor extraction (SVE) technology, referred to as Electrical Resistive Heating or "ERH" at the site. This technology utilizes electrical current passed through soil and groundwater to heat the subsurface which, in turn, releases more organic vapors. The vapors are then collected and treated. Over a period of approximately nine months, officials estimate that more than 100,000 pounds of chemicals will be removed from groundwater and soil, greatly reducing the time that groundwater treatment by MassDEP will be necessary.