Facility Site ID: 675 Cleanup Site ID: 1317

  • Site Status

  • No Further Action
  • Brownfield

  • This site has received funding as part of our Brownfields Program.
    Brownfields Public Funding: $2,446,000.00

The Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Commerce, and City of Spokane worked together to help redevelop a former railyard on the Spokane River into the Kendall Yards community, using a loan from Commerce's Revolving Loan Fund.

A Locomotive Legacy

From 1914 to 1955, the 77-acre property just north of downtown Spokane and south of the historic West Central neighborhood was used by Union Pacific Railroad as a rail line operational facility. Great Northern Railroad also brought its main line along the northern edge of the property. The West Spokane Yard had miles of tracks, a roundhouse, a steam locomotive repair and passenger car servicing complex, and fuel storage and refueling facilities. The main complex was located on the western portion of the site and included a railroad turntable, above-ground oil storage tanks, and oil distribution pipelines. Coal- and oil-fired steam engines were serviced here.

Between 1955 and the late 1980s, both railroad corridors were abandoned, portions of the elevated Union Pacific corridor were removed, and the sunken Great Northern corridor was filled to grade. The central portion of the property had little usage, except for railroad tracks. The eastern portion of the property included warehousing, a plating operation, perishable goods storage, and several municipal facilities.

Cleanup And Redevelopment

Removing contaminated material from an ash trench at Kendall Yards.
Removing contaminated material from an ash trench at Kendall Yards.

Between 1990 and 2005, two attempts, the first failed, were made at cleanup and redevelopment. The second, successful developer worked with the EPA Brownfields program and Ecology’s Voluntary Cleanup Program to clean the property to an “unrestricted use” level for future residential development—clean enough for parks and housing without any environmental restrictions.

The developer received a Revolving Loan Fund loan for $2.4 million to finance the cleanup. Washington State has a little-used Tax Increment Financing (TIF) type tool called Local Revitalization Financing (LRF) (Ch. 39.104 RCW). It functions similarly to other state’s TIF programs, but it is not nearly as robust as TIFs in other communities. Kendall Yards is an LRF and a Multi-Family Tax Exempt area. These economic development incentives are two of the largest at work in the Kendall Yards area.

By 2006, the cleanup was complete. In less than one year, more than 200,000 tons of contaminated soil was removed from 20 acres of the site, including bunker C, cadmium, lead, and arsenic. Dust control was a major component given the dry nature of the soils and the proximity to residential homes. Ecology and EPA were satisfied with the cleanup, and the project was given a letter of “No Further Action.” Kendall Yards was removed from the state’s Hazardous Sites List after holding a public comment period in April 2006.

The economic shocks at the start of the Great Recession in 2007–2008 again derailed the project, forcing it into bankruptcy and uncertainty. The project was revived in 2010. Building quickly commenced, and the first housing units went on the market by 2012.

A Growing, Green Community

Today, Kendall Yards is a thriving, multi-use walkable community with easy connectivity to downtown Spokane and Spokane Transit bus routes. Street-level commercial businesses are intermixed with public spaces, public art, Centennial Trail connection, and single- and multi-family housing. A locally owned grocery store was also constructed to serve the community.

In 2021 and beyond, all new homes will include solar panels. Solar panels already provide power to lighting in the shared public spaces and parking lots in the business district.

Public Information 2
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Brownfield Success Story: Kendall Yards 4/14/2021 Focus Sheet
Kendall Yards (River Front Properties) Fact Sheet Proposed Delisting 4/1/2006 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Technical Reports 1
Document Title Document Date Document Type
River Front Properties Site Hazard Assessment 2/1/1997 Site Hazard Assessment Report
There may be more documents related to this site. To obtain documents not available electronically, you will need to make a public records request.

Places to see print documents

  • Eastern Regional Office
    N 4601 Monroe St
    Spokane, 99205-1265
    Please schedule an appointment to view print documents at this location.

Contaminants 3

Contaminant Type
Surface Water
Metals - Metals Priority Pollutants R
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum Products-Unspecified R
Non-Halogenated Organics - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons R
Confirmed Above Cleanup Levels
Below Cleanup Levels
This contaminant list was based on our best information at the time it was entered. It may not reflect current conditions at the site.