Flip That Brownfield

<p>As brownfield redevelopment escapes from its "avoid-at-all-costs" stigma, <em>Sustainable Industries</em> offers a look at five common remediation and redevelopment projects for the country's brownfields.</p>
October 25, 2007, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"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."

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Published on Saturday, April 28, 2007 in Sustainable Industries
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