As brownfield redevelopment escapes from its "avoid-at-all-costs" stigma, Sustainable Industries offers a look at five common remediation and redevelopment projects for the country's brownfields.
"Brownfields, the common term for abandoned or underutilized sites that have been contaminated through industrial pollution, are the polar opposites of greenfields, a phrase used to describe unspoiled tracts of land. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates there are between 500,000 and 1 million U.S. brownfield sites, which represent an estimated $2 trillion of undervalued real estate, according to industry experts."
"Yet despite the abundance of brownfield properties and their rock-bottom price tags, many developers have until recently avoided the risky business of brownfield redevelopment - for good reason. Due to ever-evolving technologies, cleanup costs can be difficult to predict. A number of unknowns inherent to abandoned properties have the potential to become a liability. Brownfield redevelopment almost always involves public involvement, and often requires partnerships between federal and state agencies, as well as city and county governments: In other words, they can take a long time. Developers also have to shake the stigma that brownfields are dangerous places."
"As a result of increased funding and public awareness, revitalized brownfields in some cities are beginning to become as prevalent as abandoned ones. Yet only 10 - 15 percent of U.S. brownfield sites have been addressed, according to Brownfield News, leaving over 80 percent of the market untapped."