Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative (BIHC) sought to redevelop a brownfield into a five-story apartment building for homeless youth. Extensive soil contamination and asbestos were identified onsite. BIHC utilized the Metropolitan Council’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Grant program to secure the needed funding to complete the Prior Crossing redevelopment. The TOD program maximizes connections amongst housing, jobs, services, transit, and regional amenities such as parks, trails and cultural centers. It also supposes dense, diverse development that emphasizes pedestrian activity and increases transit ridership and multimodal transportation.


GZA completed a pre-demolition hazardous building materials survey on the existing building and oversaw abatement of all friable asbestos containing materials prior to demolition. In addition, GZA prepared a Response Action Plan and Construction Contingency Plan to properly handle and dispose of PAH-contaminated soils encountered during redevelopment of the property. GZA oversaw the design and installation of a vapor mitigation system beneath the building to proactively reduce the risk of organic vapor intrusion to the building occupants. GZA also oversaw the excavation of approximately 8,443 tons of PAH-contaminated soils and debris to a permitted industrial landfill.


The environmental cleanup achieved the approvals the MPCA Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup program. Due to the cleanup, the site was issued a No Further Action Determination letter for soil on January 18, 2017. In September 2016, the building opened its doors to 44 previously homeless youth. Over the first four months, 43 of those youth remained stably housed. Eighty-nine percent were either employed, enrolled in school, or actively seeking employment.