Did Alta Stone Place Construction Stall?

The discovery of soil contaminated with oil and heavy metals temporarily halted construction while the site was cleaned up.

You Ask, Patch Answers is a new weekly column for Melrosians who have questions about something they've spotted around the city or wondered about. Submit your question to danield@patch.com.

Carl asked in an email for an update on the Alta Stone Place development at the former industrial district on Washington Street, saying that the construction site had been gated without any work done for weeks. He also pointed out that documents had been filed with the State Department of Environmental Protection regarding the discovery of contaminated soil at the former factory site.

According to those DEP filings, oils and heavy metals were found in crawl spaces beneath "Building C"—the former Boston Rubber Shoe Co. mill building with a tower that the developer plans to rehabiliate and turn into part of the new residential complex.

Richard Dickason, northeast director for developer Wood Partners, told Melrose Patch on Friday that the contamination did require the temporary halting of construction until it could be addressed.

"It’s a 100-year-old factory and we did find some environmental issues," Dickason said. "We prepared a plan on how to clean it up, making sure we have the right plan and do it properly. We anticipate that construction will probably restart at the end of next or the following week."

According to a filing received by the DEP on Wednesday, April 11, the affected surface soil had been removed from the crawl spaces and would undergo confirmatory sampling and testing and a risk assessment would be done at the site before closing the DEP case.

Dickason said that Wood Partners is on track to open the development in two phases.

"The first two buildings, the easier buildings that are partially constructed, they should be completed by late fall of this year," he said. "The historic building and the one behind it will probably completed mid-next year. We're moving on ahead."

For more about the history of the Boston Rubber Shoe Co. and the industrial site, read this 2008 Melrose Free Press article.

If you've got a question about something in Melrose, send it to danield@patch.com. We'll choose one question each week and get to work on digging up an answer.


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