by Roberto Perez, CEO — Hilco Redevelopment Partners
What started as a one-day event 51 years ago has grown into an annual global celebration to raise public awareness and promote creative and innovative solutions to the challenges facing our environment.
Much has changed since that first Earth Day. While there’s still much to be done, we are moving towards a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future, and that is to be celebrated.
Yet, change leaves its mark. From abandoned coal-fired plants, to unusable industrial brownfields, the relics of the old economy are visible across our nation, in cities large and small.
At Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP), we don’t just see blight; we see potential.
We’re in the business of transformation, and, in our view, true environmental stewardship requires that we find sustainable solutions for these abandoned and decaying properties. That’s why we take these complex sites and transform them in a way that can better serve the community.
In Philadelphia, for nearly 150 years the former Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) site was once the largest single source of pollution in the city. Now, we are actively working with the City of Philadelphia and collaborating with the local community to redevelop the 1,300-acre site to the betterment of South Philadelphia and the city as a whole.
In our hometown of Chicago, we are helping transition an 83-year-old former coal-fired power plant into the city’s largest LEED-certified, state-of-the-art logistics center. This long-awaited environmental clean-up of 70 previously unusable acres will also include green energy and electric vehicle infrastructure, the planting of 700 native trees and 400 plants and bioswales to absorb up to 16 tons of CO2 per year, and the room to create more than one thousand new jobs for nearby residents, who will also enjoy new sidewalks, pathways for bikes and pedestrians, and new access to public transportation.
In Alexandria, VA, in the shadow of our nation’s capital, we recently acquired the old Potomac River Generating Station (PRGS) site, which has sat dormant for nearly a decade after years of effort by local residents calling for the coal-fired plant’s closure over concerns about air quality. Now, we are working with those residents and local leaders towards a mixed-use development that reintegrates the site back into the fabric of Old Town Alexandria, with numerous new residential and community amenities, including improved public open space along the historic Potomac River.
In Boston, we are redeveloping the site of the more than 100-year-old L Street Power Plant where we are working to incorporate some of the former coal-fired plant’s historic and architecturally significant structures into a mixed-use development with retail, residences and new open space along the waterfront.
While we set and endeavor to maintain environmental standards for redevelopment for each project, for HRP, sustainability doesn’t stop with the environment. We believe in sustainability for local economies and communities as well.
We’re long-term community partner, committed to creating new job opportunities and benefiting the surrounding neighborhoods where we work. This includes providing direct support to local non-profit groups doing outstanding work in the community as well as donating our own time to these efforts as well. In fact, today, in Philadelphia, we’re partnering with Bartram’s Garden for a community clean-up event near the old PES refinery to celebrate Earth Day.
At HRP, we are working to set a new standard in sustainability and environmental stewardship. It’s who we are as a company. For us, every day is Earth Day.
Visit us at www.hilcoredev.com