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IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES

Begun in 1996 with the intent to jump start revitalization of the city's downtown, the City of Ocala Brownfields program is intended to assist property owners with the Assessment of their parcels to determine the presence of hazardous materials.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) defines a Brownfield as "real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant."   If eligible, a property owner may utilize assistance from the City (through the USEPA) to determine whether hazardous materials are present, and if so, the geographic extent of those materials in the soil, water or air on that parcel.  

Between 1996 and 2008, the City was able to assess 46 parcels in the downtown area through the USEPA grant program.  Of these parcels, 25, or 54%, were redeveloped or repurposed.  Focusing on the historically industrial downtown area, most parcels went from a previous industrial use to a commercial or office use.  However, in recent years, Ocala citizens have recognized a need for more residential uses in the downtown area, and staff are working to effect this change with all the tools available, include redeveloping brownfields.  

The City is working to secure USEPA grant monies in order to further redevelopment efforts in West Ocala, one of the neighborhoods most negatively affected by brownfields.  On downtown brownfields, staff, investors and companies imagined redevelopment like the former White's meat packing plant, transformed into an impressive office building.  Or the pocket park on North Magnolia Avenue.  Imagine the possibilities for brownfields near you!

Click on the story map link below for additional information on the program.  If you have any questions, please call Lisa Walsh, 352-629-8381 or lwalsh@ocalafl.org.

Ocala Brownfields Story Map