Gruen Gruen + Associates (GG+A) and GG+A Founding Principals Claude Gruen and Nina Gruen were appointed Special Masters by the Federal District Court of Northern California for a former steel company (Pacific States Steel Corporation) whose principal asset was a site in Union City, California. At the time of the appointment in 1999, the site had zero assessed value. The steelworkers, who had been the plaintiff in the lawsuit before the Federal Court, had been left with an unfunded medical plan. Claims by other creditors exceeded $70 million. The site lacked basic infrastructure, roadways and drainage. The Pacific States Steel mill was abandoned and classified as a Superfund site in 1978. Prior efforts to plan, finance, remediate the environmental contamination and develop the site had failed. Upon becoming Special Masters, GG+A completed, obtained, planned negotiated and supervised the following:
• Real estate market research, economics/financial feasibility analysis and site programming;
• Preparation of a Remediation Development Implementation Plan, approved by the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) in 2002;
• $21,176,000 environmental remediation without subsidy of 84 contaminated acres;
• $6,270,000 backbone infrastructure including roads and drainage;
• DTSC “clean letter” issued in 2006;
• 475 housing units in three transit-oriented neighborhoods completed in 2007;
• $9.5 million paid in medical claims to former steelworkers and their Medical Plan fully funded with an additional $1.7 million for all future claims; and
• $70 million paid to satisfy other creditor claims.
• Union City residential parcels now assessed at $351 million plus 1.14-acre Fremont parcels assessed at $5.8 million, with a total of 745 residential units.
• Environmentally clean site, new infrastructure including roads, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, lighting, utilities and community pool and playground.
• GG+A’s stewardship of the project has served to stimulate the redevelopment of the area into a very successful transit-oriented development.