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LIC Pepsi plant site to get final cleanup

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The second phase of remediation at the 9.5-acre PepsiCo site is scheduled to begin in early March and estimated for completion in one year, said Jon McMillan, director of planning for Rockrose Development, which is constructing the seven East Coast residential towers along Center Boulevard in Long Island City.The first of the four new buildings at the site would likely begin construction in early 2009, McMillan said. The seven East Coast buildings will include a total of 3,200 apartment units for sale and rental, he said.He said the site would not only allow for the construction of four more East Coast buildings, but also a new school that will include kindergarten through eighth grade, eight acres of park space, two parking garages, an esplanade, a large drug store and a new Amish Market, a furniture store.The first phase of remediation was conducted between 2004 and 2006, during which the state Department of Environmental Conservation removed contaminated soil and replaced it with clean soil, said McMillan.The site formerly housed a Standard Oil refinery before PepsiCo took it over in the late 1930s. In 2004, digging at the site unearthed a decades-old swamp of oil.During the first phase of remediation, the DEC imposed a series of remediation standards on site engineer TRC Companies Inc., such as laying down containment foam to buffer oil smells that caused neighborhood residents to complain of headaches. TRC also agreed to truck excavated soil off-site, rather than keep it on the property.The DEC could not be reached for comment.The East Coast developments are among 20 buildings to be constructed along the western Queens waterfront in the Queens West development project. That project, divided into four phases and slated for completion in 2012, will include 12 market rate residential towers developed by Avalon Communities Inc. through the state's Empire Development Corporation.Rockrose will develop the latter phases, which will include affordable housing and retail space, through the city's Economic Development Corporation.Queens West is bounded by Newtown Creek to the south, the East River to the west, 44th Drive to the north and 2nd and 5th streets to the east. The total cost of the project, which will create an estimated 44,000 new apartments in western Queens, is $2 billion.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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