State: Ave U site good to go

The state this week deemed the cleanup of a toxic Gravesend site to be complete, paving the way for the construction of a residential building and synagogue.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said that site owner Avenue U Partners LLC met the requirements put in place by the agency, which has been monitoring work activity at the site since 2007.

According to the DEC, the .22-acre property was home to a gasoline service station for approximately 40 years, followed by an automotive maintenance facility and most recently a synagogue. The underground storage tanks associated with the service station were abandoned in place in 1992. Contaminants associated with past operations included petroleum and volatile organic compounds which contaminated the soil, groundwater, and soil gas, according to the DEC.

DEC spokesperson Maureen Wren said the site was also once home to a synagogue, the Foundation of Torah Studies.

Since entering the brownfield program, cleanup activities have involved soil excavation, groundwater treatment and installation of a vapor barrier, according to the DEC. The completion certificate requires that groundwater monitoring continue for two years.

On the site is planned a six-story, 10,000-square-foot residential building and synagogue.

At press time, JBS Project Management, the entity representing the owner, did not return a query about the project. On its Web site, JBS states that in addition to the synagogue, the project will include retail space, luxury residential condominiums and parking. According to the site, the synagogue will be primarily located on the cellar level and have three double height spaces and the retail space will be a double height area on the ground floor and will extend up through the second floor. Residential units will be located on the second through sixth floors. The parking will be located in the cellar and sub cellar with access provided by a street ramp.

Under the brownfield cleanup program, developers are given incentives to clean former industrial sites before redeveloping them. On this site, the owners will be eligible for tax credits now that the certificate of completion has been issued by the DEC.