As Majestic Hotel property demolition nears its close, the City of Hot Springs has issued the following project update.
In July 2016, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) approved a work plan submitted by DT Specialized Services of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the city’s contractor. The plan included the abatement of hazardous materials from the remaining Majestic Hotel structures, including the Lanai Suites, Lanai Towers and the “red brick” building, in compliance with all state and federal regulations. Abatement activities began on July 18. During the abatement process, air monitoring and bulk sampling activities were carried out by Snyder Environmental of North Little Rock under the review of ADEQ. Demolition was not allowed to begin until all abatement was complete.
Misters have been used as needed during the demolition phase to minimize masonry dust in the air to the extent possible. The city’s Street Division cleaned adjacent streets on an ongoing basis throughout demolition.
More than 240 tons of metal have been recycled from the property by the contractor to date. A large amount of material will be sorted and recycled in the coming weeks, including bricks from the “red brick” section.
DT Specialized Services is completing the demolition phase considerably ahead of its submitted schedule, which had built-in contingencies for inclement weather and other factors. Its crew is beginning to contour the hillside, keeping stormwater runoff and drainage considerations in mind. Demolition is estimated to be completed by the end of October or early November.
Following demolition, the city will request a Phase II environmental assessment from ADEQ with the goal of obtaining an environmental release. The release represents ADEQ’s assurance that the property presents no additional environmental hazards and is fit for redevelopment.
The City of Hot Springs is currently planning a redevelopment visioning process that will be conducted in partnership with the Kansas State University – Technical Assistance for Brownfields group, or KSU-TAB. A visioning workshop and community meetings will explore the former Majestic Hotel site’s reuse, including neighborhood connection, revitalization, cleanup and redevelopment. The community meetings, which the city anticipates will be held in the coming months, will be similar those conducted for the Downtown Redevelopment Plan. KSU-TAB will serve as the facilitator, soliciting input and brainstorming re-use ideas for the site.
KSU TAB brings university-level educational and technical resources as well as industry/consulting experience to the workshops. It serves as an independent advisor and resource for community revitalization efforts. The city will utilize statewide higher educational institutions for design and image renderings.
Community input and Hot Springs Board of Directors approval will be used to issue a Request for Proposals for development professionals or entities that meet the direction resulting from the visioning process.