Redeveloping former Pfister & Vogel tannery site


Located along the Milwaukee River in the heart of the Park East corridor, this eight-acre former tannery (Pfister & Vogel) was redeveloped as The North End Development by the award-winning urban developer, Mandel Group. The project features high density housing with a neighborhood atmosphere that includes apartments, condominiums, street level retail, a park-like plaza, river walk and boat slips.

Services provided by Sigma include:

Pre-Acquisition Due Diligence

Evaluated environmental conditions by applying Phase 1 and 2 ESA protocols and developed remedial action budget costs to support decisions during property acquisition. Issues of concern included soil and groundwater conditions, free product, asbestos-containing building materials and residuals from former leather processing.

Investigation / Remediation

Investigated subsurface conditions associated with historical material handling impacts throughout the 350,000-square-foot (SF) facility and at over 60 aboveground and underground storage tanks used for fuel oil, wastewater treatment and tanning process chemicals. Developed remedial strategies to maximize reuse of on-site soil coupled with engineered barriers, a methane venting system, natural attenuation and groundwater monitoring. Performed activities consistent with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) requirements. Obtained exemptions from the WDNR to construct on a historic landfill and reuse minimally impacted soil during construction.

Asbestos, Lead-Based Paint (LBP) and Hazardous Materials

Performed pre-demolition asbestos inspection in accordance with City of Milwaukee, WDNR and USEPA National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollution (NESHAP) requirements. Completed LBP assessment and prepared hazardous materials inventories. Determined where LBP abatement was appropriate to facilitate recycling opportunities that provided overall cost savings.

Prepared plans and specifications for contractor bidding and provided observation and clearance monitoring during removal of thermal insulation, roofing, flooring, galbestos, transite and other regulated materials.

Demolition Planning

Assisted owner with demolition bidding, contractor selection, and demolition contract negotiation, revision and finalization. Coordinated and documented proper handling and disposal of hazardous materials and maximized recycling opportunities during demolition of the six-story 350,000 SF facility. Verified costs and quantities were consistent with bid prior to payment.


Demolition at the former Pfister & Vogel Tannery.


Assisted in obtaining $1,400,000 in Wisconsin Department of Commerce Brownfield Grant and USEPA / WDNR Site Assessment Grant funds. Helped owner establish a $1,600,000 City Tax Incremental District. Prepared application and obtained $1,180,000 low interest funding from the Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority Brownfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund to finance partial environmental cleanup costs.

Civil / Site Engineering

Surveyed existing conditions of the multi-building complex to define the locations and elevations of utilities and structures and identify all easements and property boundaries. Evaluated various cut/fill scenarios to minimize disturbance of impacted soil, maximize re- use of excavated soil, minimize imported fill, and establish new development elevations. Designed all new site work (including public and private roads, curbs, sidewalks, landscaping, and underground utilities including public sewer and water extensions). Relocation of a MMSD combined sewer overflow was completed prior to demolition. Prepared site stormwater management plans. Designed and oversaw the installation of a subsurface vapor mitigation system. Evaluated dockwall construction and future permit requirements for dockwall modification.