Finding Creative Solutions to Redevelopment Challenges



Earlier this year, New York State established a brownfield redevelopment plan. Shortly thereafter, the Iowa State Senate passed a similar bill establishing a redevelopment tax program for brownfield and greyfield sites in that state.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines a brownfield website as "real estate, the growth, redevelopment, or reuse which may be complicated by the existence or possible existence of a dangerous substance, contaminant, or pollutant." A brownfield site is typically the former area of a chemical plant or production facility that made or used potentially toxic compounds like commercial cleaning products or fertilizer. Though a center might have been deserted for many years, hazardous chemicals may still be present in the center itself and the ground on which it sits. The cost of cleansing brownfield sites can be so high regarding avoid them from being developed at all. As a result, the harmful impurities remain in the environment, posing health threats while the deserted property all at once prevents the neighborhood's economic development.

In contrast, a "greyfield" site rarely poses any ecological or health risks. It is a term that was coined in the early 2000s to describe empty and abandoned industrial and retail residential or commercial property. (The word "greyfield" refers to the often-expansive parking lots that surround the structures.) Because there are no unsafe impurities to dispose of, the redevelopment of greyfields usually costs less. In addition, the existing facilities (including pipes and electrical circuitry) can really minimize the cost of development.

A revitalization strategy released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2005 recommended greyfields as practical development opportunities because of their often-close proximity to main traffic arteries and public meeting place like sports complexes.

In 2002, President Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which allocated more financing for the clean-up and development of brownfield sites. Regrettably, since greyfields position no real ecological or health risks, there is little federal funding designated specifically for their development.

Iowa's just recently passed legislation enables the state's Department of Economic Development to use up to $5 million of its allocated redevelopment tax credits for both brownfield and greyfield websites. A minimum 24 percent credit is available for brownfield websites, and is increased to 30 percent for green developments. With this brand-new law in location, more cash is now readily available for investors and home builders willing to check out development possibilities on property considered brownfield or greyfield.

Lawmakers hope the new arrangement provides incentive for designers to use old commercial websites and vacant shopping centers, which are plentiful, instead of looking for to build on previously unused land. Other states are thinking about comparable legislation as they look for imaginative ways to encourage development while keep expenses as low as possible.


Shortly thereafter, the Former Mayfair Gardens Iowa State Senate passed a comparable costs establishing a redevelopment tax program for brownfield and greyfield websites in that state.

Iowa's just recently passed legislation enables the state's Department of Economic Development to apply up to $5 million of its assigned redevelopment tax credits for both brownfield and greyfield websites. A minimum 24 percent credit is available for brownfield sites, and is increased to 30 percent for green advancements. With this brand-new law in location, more money is now offered for financiers and home builders ready to explore development possibilities on property deemed brownfield or greyfield.

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