Targus was retained to perform an environmental site assessment (Phase I ESA and additional non-ASTM services) of the 11-story, 200-room hotel situated on approximately one-half acre in the Cherry Creek area characterized by commercial office buildings, retail businesses, parking garages, and multifamily residences. Subject property improvements included three geared traction/ cable elevators, meeting space, fitness center, business center, banquet kitchen, and restaurant and bar. Construction of the on-site improvements was completed in approximately 2004.
Although underground storage tanks at an adjoining upgradient Sears retail facility had been properly assessed and closed, the auto service center operations were considered a recognized environmental condition. Sufficient assesment of soil around the areas of documented chlorinated solvent and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs) releases was completed, but groundwater assessment had been omitted.
Although the auto service releases were considered to be a recognized environmental condition, several mitigating factors were evaluated, affecting the client’s overall assessment relative to their business objectives. The soil where the VOC release was detected was located off-site, to the east of the subject property. The concentration detected in soil was modest and exceeded only the most conservative soil to groundwater screening level. Although the potential presence and degree of groundwater impact was unknown, in the event that groundwater was affected, the area was expected to be limited in extent based on non-detection at locations where groundwater was assessed. Finally, it was noted that a parking level located beneath the basement level of the hotel extended beyond the footprint of the building thus removing additional soil to a depth near groundwater.
In light of the mitigating factors, in combination with certain private-party risk allocations, the client chose to proceed with its acquisition without further assessment.