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DTSC is helping bring prosperity and business to Emeryville

The state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is overseeing removal of contaminated soil at a proposed hotel site in Emeryville. It’s the latest component of a large-scale redevelopment project that has generated hundreds of jobs and changed the face of a portion of the city.

DTSC has been involved with the Bay Street Shopping Center (opens new window) development for about 15 years, since the city began assembling six parcels totaling almost 20 acres into the mixed-use project. The land was formerly used for a variety of purposes, including reconditioning of drums, a machine shop, formulating and distributing pesticides and trucking operations.

Bay Street is home to major retailers, restaurants and a movie theater. It is the fourth-highest taxpayer in Emeryville, employs more than 650 people and is features more than 70 businesses, said Michelle E. De Guzman, acting manager of the city’s economic development and housing division.

A 171-room Hyatt Place hotel on 1.3 acres is the latest component. City officials are processing the building permit and a DTSC-supervised cleanup began in January 2015.

The hotel is proposed for what is currently a temporary parking lot. The owner, Bay Street Hotel Properties LLC, plans to remove 4,500 cubic yards of soil and cap it with the hotel, landscaping and paved parking and roads. The Emeryville Planning Commission approved the hotel project in January 2014. Here is the staff report.

With the hotel, the redevelopment project is nearing completion. “This is the second (to) last component – the last one is small retail pad just north of the hotel site, at the northeast corner of Christie Avenue and Shellmound Street,” said Miroo Desai, a senior planner for the city.

“The hotel is just one more chapter in a story about taking underutilized industrial properties and putting them into productive reuse,” said Karen Toth, supervising hazardous waste engineer at DTSC. “DTSC’s role is to make sure the work is conducted safely and that the property is safe for future visitors.”

Emeryville is morphing from an industrial hub to a thriving center of commerce and art. Thousands of new homes, artists’ workspaces and millions of square feet of new shopping and entertainment venues have been added in the last two decades.

And DTSC, which is involved in other projects in Emeryville, has been a crucial part of that process.