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Brownfield developments

Hceux

Cyburbian
Messages
1,028
Points
22
What are your takes on the recent talks/hypes over developments of brownfield sites? Are they over-rated in terms of the economic costs of rehabilitating the land? Can cities overcome the challenge of what brownfield sites present?

I'm just curious...
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
My state has really been pushing the concept lately. I have not had time too look in to the details, but I am skeptical. They seem willing to foot most of the bill for an assessment, and perhaps one-half of the cleanup. Let's see: one-half of the clean up of a tannery that operated from 1905 to 1950...I don't think there will be many takers.
 

LouisvilleSlugger

Cyburbian
Messages
216
Points
9
there is so much potential here in Louisville for brownfields development. its happening but on a very high level that translates to big high profile projects that often take some time to complete. there hasn't been a groundswell here in Louisville even though it's been happening more frequently.
 

steveanne

Member
Messages
176
Points
7
I think brownfield is the new buzzword in development. It's all over the newspapers, and there's apparently funding galore to develop on former brownfield sites.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Brownfields were the rage here about five years ago. There have been a number of good examples of projects that have restored brownfields to use for parks, industry, commerce and residential uses. I have played a role in a handful. From my experiences, I would say that the extent of contamination and cost of clean-up is greatly over-estimated in all but the most extreme cases. We have often found demolition costs or asbestos removal to be far bigger costs than remediation of contaminated soils or groundwater.

These brownfiled sites can be good candidates for TIF. They are often in desirable locations, such as old factories along rivers or near downtowns. They tend to be low-value properties, making TIF even more attractive.

EPA grants can be a source of funding, but tend to favor multi-site programs, thus larger communities. State brownfield programs in many states have been decimated by budget cuts. One popular Wisconsin program, designed to provide assistance when brownfields will be redeveloped for recreational uses, is all but gone. CDBG funds still exist, but have become more competitive. All of this has dampened the interest in brownfields, hopefully only temporarily.
 

Big Easy King

Cyburbian
Messages
1,361
Points
23
Brownfields are a hot topic in the Big Easy and nearby surrounding areas, but most have yet to be redeveloped.
 

PlannerByDay

Cyburbian
Messages
1,827
Points
24
The community in which I live is essentially landlocked so any development on parcels over a few acres is not possible unless it takes place on brownfields.

Much of this land is locate north and east of the downtown which has seen a significant rebirth. The push to redevleop the brownfields began about a dozen years ago. It was not until the last 5 or so years that the program really began to pick up.

At the present time former brownfields are now home to a bakery, commercial laundary service, a grocery store, a resturant, and offices to name a few.

The Department of Economic Development here has been very proactive recently and it isn't all hype, they are getting things done.

They have been doing some amazing things and the program here is very strong and continues to rehab an old drab part of town into a more vibrant area although they still have a lot of work to do.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
What do you want to know about brownfields?

-Are they economically viable?.....It all depends on the state's or providence's (sp? once again) costs. I'm doing a project now on it if you have any questions, it aso adresses the transportation issues.
 

Hceux

Cyburbian
Messages
1,028
Points
22
Rumpy Tunanator, you asked the question if I needed to know about it. When I first posted up my first message about brownfield developments, the leading weekly magazine in Canada (Maclean's) did a whole series of articles on redevelopment of brownfield sites across Canada. It just struck odd to me that this series of article came out at once out of the blue. Often, there are some discussions about certain issues before they make it in the magazine. So, I was wondering if I've been out of the "grapevine." So, that's why I asked about it in my first post on this thread.

I have wonder whether redeveloping and rehabilitating brownfield sites are economically viable. Such sites in this university town that I'm living right now have been deemed as not so because of great spread of contaminated soils and the limestone bedrock.

What have you found in your project?
 

teshadoh

Suspended Bad Email Address
Messages
437
Points
13
For one thing brownfields are typically the last remaing large parcels that are relatively undeveloped. They are an eyesore - abandoned steel mills & environmentally unsound - contaminated soil. I think the buzzword is justified - they receive federal funding & provide valuable developable property.

For Atlanta's case it is the former Atlantic Steel Mill north of Georgia Tech on the edge of Midtown & Buckhead. It is a massive parcel of land on the intersection of 2 freeways & a proposed light rail line (which most likely won't be built). The land has high contaminates & is an eyesore. That was a few years ago. Now being built is Atlantic Station, a true mixed use development that will fill in a large gap of land. The potential is for tens of thousands of people to move in, several corporations are moving offices there (some from the suburbs) & national retail opportunities (yes, suburban chains but if you live in the city like me, sometimes you long for them) such as Ikea. Otherwise there would be few parcels to develop anything to this scale.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Hceux said:
I have wonder whether redeveloping and rehabilitating brownfield sites are economically viable. Such sites in this university town that I'm living right now have been deemed as not so because of great spread of contaminated soils and the limestone bedrock.

What have you found in your project?
Whoa, I forgot about replying to your question a while back. From what I've learned, 1 it depends alot on the market or economy of the area and 2 who is paying for the cost of cleaning up the land. Here the state and county, and sometimes city and feds foot the bill for the clean up cost and then sometimes tack on some of there costs to the developer. The way the economy is here, however, most developers would rather start out fresh, which is why a lot of subsidies are given to those who would redevelop it. But in other areas where the economy is stronger and land is scarce, the developer might foot the bill of the clean up because the value of the land far exceeds the costs of a cleanup and a sure profit can be made. Thats one of the dilemas here when the state was trying to change the brownfields cleanup program.

Depending on how far they contamination has spread as well can also be a major factor. Here's what happened here when the cleanup was done improperly.
Bad job.
 
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