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From Coal Mines to Apartments: Canyon View Development

Different views of Canyon View ApartmentsChallenge

Canyon View Apartments is a future apartment development on 5.06 acres of vacant land in Golden, Colorado, located west of U.S. Highway 93 and north of Golden Gate Canyon Road. The property has a history of industrial use, including brick making, coal and clay mining, and use as a construction yard and concrete batch plant. This past activity raised concerns about contamination.


Project developer KB Golden Ridge Owner partnered with SEH to provide guidance on site assessment and cleanup strategies to navigate this complex brownfield project. SEH engineers and scientists worked together to assess the property, prepare a remediation plan to obtain necessary approvals for development, and set the stage to obtain Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding to support the cleanup and redevelopment of the brownfield site.

SEH conducted a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) to determine the recognized environmental condition (REC) of the site, which revealed a history of brick making, along with clay and coal mining activities. The brick making operation utilized ovens and kilns that were fired by coal, resulting in coal clinker and coal ash from the process being mixed with soil and used as fill on the northern third of the property, and possibly across other areas of the site. During site grading, brick debris was also encountered.

Based on the REC, Partner Engineering and Science, Inc. conducted a Phase II ESA to conduct soil borings and evaluate the potential impacts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and the eight Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) metals to soil and groundwater. The Phase II ESA identified areas of elevated arsenic in soil, requiring additional site characterization activities to delineate the extent of impacted soils and develop an acceptable remediation plan.

SEH then went to work developing the remediation plan to address the arsenic contamination at the site and meet the stringent requirements of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCUP), in order to receive a no action determination (NAD) for the property. The NAD is written to allow specific reuse of the property based on achieved cleanup levels and the locations of cleanup. The remediation plan, a critical component of the VCUP application, must be included for approval of the application.

The team is currently working diligently to expedite the approval process to meet the required timeline for HUD credits as they submit the remediation plan and work with CDPHE on the final VCUP application. Once approved, SEH environmental specialists will be on site to certify the remediation process as they prepare the property for the next steps in the process.

SEH also serves as the Architect/Engineer of Record for the planned 104 apartment units on this site. The team successfully navigated the entitlement process with the City, obtaining allocation approval through the Planning Commission to build three structures at three stories each, totaling 105,987 sq. ft. Through that entitlement process, SEH navigated Golden’s specific sustainability requirements and residential growth restrictions.  The development will feature a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments, as well as courtyard spaces and lounge areas for residents. Other amenities will include a fitness center, co-working rooms, a community garden, a pet relief area, an outdoor yoga area, and a kids' play area.

Canyon View Apartments

Golden, Colorado

KB Golden Ridge Owner, LLC


  • Architecture
  • Civil engineering
  • Environmental
  • Planning and development
  • Survey


  • Remediation plan addresses arsenic contamination to meet stringent requirements of CDPHE and VCUP application
  • Redevelopment of over five acres of vacant land previously used for industrial purposes
  • Project expedited to meet required timeline for HUD Financing
  • Multi-disciplined approach to alleviate environmental concerns and keep development on track