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Old dump gets time to flourish

Developer is still considering effort to recycle land

May 29, 2009

West Allis and Greenfield city officials are still working on a decade-plus quest to redevelop an old Allis-Chalmers landfill near 116th Street and Morgan Avenue.

Minneapolis-based Real Estate Recycling has tried for the last five years to redevelop the land, plagued by environmental problems, into single-family housing, and it is not giving up, a company official told the Greenfield Common Council on May 5.

Aldermen unanimously voted to extend the developer's offer to purchase the land by a year to allow the company to continue an environmental analysis.

"I'm sure you all share my frustration on how slow redevelopment is going on this site," company President Jeff Hall told the council.

The site of the former dump is in West Allis but is surrounded by Greenfield on all four sides. Within the site, both cities have Department of Public Works composting and drop-off sites, which officials may move to a 3-acre parcel just east of Interstate 894 north of Howard Avenue, said Chuck Erickson, Greenfield planning and economic director.

Officials also are hoping for some federal stimulus money to help clean up the former landfill - as well as to give some momentum to the project.

Mayor Michael Neitzke said he was more optimistic than ever after meeting with representatives from West Allis, Milwaukee County and Real Estate Recycling earlier this week.

All sides seem committed to cleaning up the site, making it "the closest we've ever been" to redevelopment, Neitzke said.

Real Estate Recycling specializes in cleanups of contaminated, or "brownfield," sites. The company has completed several projects in the Milwaukee area, including the Stadium Business Park on the former Ampco Metal site near Miller Park.

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