PITTSBURG — The City of Pittsburg is close to adopting a master plan for its Mid-City Renaissance Project centered around the Mission Clay land.
The city began working on the master plan at the beginning of 2016, and has only a few small changes to make before adoption, according to Assistant City Manager Jay Byers. The Mid-City project aims to clean-up and redevelop the former site of the Mission Clay pipe construction facility, which contains hundreds of thousands of pounds of clay pipe.
The entire area covers approximately 380 acres in the middle of Pittsburg, and redevelopment efforts were spurred when the city applied for a more than $196,000 Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields planning grant.
“If the EPA is going to award money to redevelop a Brownfield area, they want to know you are going to do it and how,” Byers said. “That’s where the master plan comes in.”
As part of the development of the plan, the city hired Elan Planning, Design and Landscape Architecture LLC of Saratoga Springs, New York, to oversee the grant and assist with planning. The city also hosted community meetings to gain input from residents about what they would like to see done.
The master plan takes that information — along with fiscal and environmental studies — and outlines priority projects for the greater redevelopment.
“The plan gets very specific,” Byers said. “It outlines what areas we want to focus on for clean-up, financial and investment analyses and more.”
Projects prioritized to start immediately include a market analysis for redevelopment of the 6th Street elementary school, a design plan for 4th street, working with the Kansas Department of Transportation to build a new bridge over the railroad, and the development of a solar array on the property, among other things.
The plan also lists projects the city plans to start within three years, including the development of a dog park at Schlanger Park, an arts and culture feasibility study and working with KDOT to improve the 4th Street corridor.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.
The 4th Street corridor and bridge projects with KDOT are aimed at creating better and safer pedestrian access between the Mid-City project site and downtown Pittsburg.
Byers said the master plan will also help the city shop around for redevelopment contractors when work begins.
“I attended a Brownfield redevelopment conference two years ago,” Byers said. “I’ll be going again this year, but I’ll have this plan in my hand to show redevelopment companies exactly what we want to do.”
Byers said adoption of the plan is coming soon and is a major step in the process of redeveloping the Mission Clay site and surrounding area.
The master plan will also make it easier to obtain EPA grants for the project.