The Wolf Administration joined state and local officials from Carlisle Borough and Cumberland County on November 8 to kick off the shovel-ready phase of a private-public collaborative project to transform a 48-acre industrial brownfield into a residential/retail/office complex and public park.

The complex will include a hotel, restaurant, retail, residential, and office space. Streets that were removed when the site was a manufacturing facility will be restored. When concluded, the project will restore connections within the neighborhood and the downtown area.

The project is supported by $7.9 million in state funding from the Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP), PennDOT, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for new roads, brownfield site cleanup, the park, and stormwater management. Additional project support includes $12.9 million in local funding, $6.2 million in federal funding, and $640,000 from charitable organizations.

“Innovation comes from partnerships envisioning transformations,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We’re witnessing the showcase of local, state, and federal partners working together with private businesses to improve the quality of life for the citizens of the commonwealth.”

The site is the former location of International Automotive Components and Masland Carpet. It has been underutilized since 2008. With several years of planning now completed and funding secured, the project moves into site work, beginning with infrastructure and streets.

The three-acre park, to be located along Fairground Avenue, will feature bicycle and pedestrian trails and an innovative stormwater management system. The park project is one of the national award-winning Brownfields to Playfields projects implemented by DEP, DCNR, and DCED.

“It’s a great symbol of community revitalization to add green and open space that provides recreational benefits to citizens to a former industrial site,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “The addition of the park to the redevelopment project will create a more walkable community, connect neighborhoods, and even connect Carlisle to Shippensburg through the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail.”

Dunn noted that innovative stormwater controls including cleaning and recycling runoff to create water features in the park are a nice demonstration of how green infrastructure can be incorporated into local park development.