Flip That Brownfield
"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."