Initial investigations showed that as many as nine underground storage tanks had been utilized on the property. Four tanks remained on the site. Two of the tanks had been replaced previously due to leakage.
The 14,000-square-foot property has been held by the Land Reutilization Authority since 1999. Cleanup of the lot began in 2003. The lot is now being rented by Kingshighway Vigilante Transitions (KHVT), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit of entrepreneurial skateboarders aiming to open the first free-to-the-public, legal skate park in the City of St. Louis.
Local skateboarders had constructed a DIY skate spot under the Kingshighway bridge between Shaw and Southwest. Although technically illegal, the skateboarders' ingenuity and upkeep impressed local officials. This was key to securing the support of Alderwoman Carol Howard, who is helping KHVT with some funding for the new skate park/public garden, seen in this rendering.
The skate garden is being built by volunteer labor. Team Pain, a leading Florida-based company that constructs skate parks across the country, offered to build St. Louis' first public skate park for free if land, materials and volunteers could be provided.
The nearly-completed project is being funded by various sources. KHVT has launched local fundraisers, as well as GoFundMe and Kickstarter campaigns. The Tony Hawk Foundation has also supplied matching grants. Materials have also been donated to the project. In addition, KHVT has paired with local gardening groups, who will provide community planter beds and flora to the site. The skate garden is slated to open in Summer 2014.