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June 2007

“HOT” Properties
 
Environmental
“HOT” Properties

  Dear Todd: Can residential development on brownfields make economic sense? If so, what advice can you give to ensure a successful redevelopment? Sincerely, Can U. Dothat New York, New York Dear Mr. Dothat: In short, absolutely! In fact, while residential redevelopment on brownfields was certainly cutting edge even five…Read more

 
Environmental
Battling a New Type of Brownfield

Crystal, crank, chalk, glass, ice, speed, zip. Whatever you call it, the illegal street drug formally known as methamphetamine, or simply meth, has rapidly become a national menace, causing more drug-related, local law enforcement issues than cocaine, marijuana and heroin combined, according to a survey conducted last year by the…Read more

 
Environmental
Bloomberg’s PlaNYC Includes Aggressive Brownfield Initiative

Standing beneath the great blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History on Earth Day 2007, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg unveiled a blueprint of smart growth for the nation’s largest city, as it plans for one million more residents by 2030. The mayor’s vision, known as…Read more


 
Environmental
Building on Past Success

Some of you may have happened upon the article “Raising Alexandria” in a recent issue of Smithsonian Magazine. The article chronicles archeological excavations conducted beneath the city 2,000 years after its founding by Alexander the Great, and the race to preserve some of the rich history in the face of…Read more

 
Environmental
Development Rises Above Risks

The Three Sisters Mountain Village is thriving as a mixed-use development with tourist appeal, after engineers were able to stabilize underground voids left by nearly a century of coal mining. The site won a Canadian Brownfield Award in 2006. Image courtesy of Three Sisters Mountain Village Ltd. Nestled just inside…Read more

 
Environmental
Following the ABCs of Successful Redevelopment

Underutilized or abandoned former industrial properties are a national concern. Many of these properties with lingering environmental issues—brownfields—likely have not been redeveloped due to the uncertainties associated with legal liability and cleanup costs. The legal and procedural steps to test, acquire, clean up and reuse contaminated sites can be expensive…Read more

 
Environmental
Viewing Brownfields as Community Development

Part of the fascination and strength of the brownfields movement is that projects can be seen from so many perspectives: as real estate transactions, environmental remediation projects, Smart Growth, environmental health and justice, land recycling, economic and community development. Over the past decade, substantially reflecting the remarkable real state boom,…Read more


 
Financing
Brownfield Redevelopment: Problem or Profit?

According to the N BAs (N BA), there are approximately 500,000 and probably more than 1,000,000 brownfield sites in the United States alone, representing 2.5 to 5 million acres. They further estimate that environmental hazards are present in 20 to 50 percent of all existing industrial real estate properties, devaluing…Read more

 
Industrial Redevelopment
Navy Pier and Lakefront Success

Navy Pier has remained a vital component of Chicago’s lakefront architecture since 1916. Though the Ferris wheel has since replaced the carousels, and blues and Shakespeare quell the past echoes of marching bands, the crowds still clamor for the range of amenities provided by the Pier, making it the biggest…Read more

 
Industrial Redevelopment
The Transit Villages That Smart Growth Built

Sixty years ago, the Curtiss-Wright airplane manufacturing plant in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, was a key to the nation’s best defense in one of the largest global conflicts in history, housing a company responsible for the biggest mass production of B-29 bomber engines on record. At its height, over 15,000 men…Read more

 
Industrial Redevelopment
Vapor Intrusion: New Focus for Due Diligence

Environmental practitioners have witnessed many trends in the evolution of environmental laws, regulations and policies, as well as evolving scrutiny for certain chemicals of concern. In the late 1990s, a revolution took place during which contaminated soil and groundwater no longer were required to be completely removed or treated, but…Read more


 
Opinion
Ins and Outs of the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule

EPA’s “Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries” Rule (more commonly referred to as the “AAI Rule”) became effective November 1, 2006, and established a new, highly touted standard for environmental due diligence conducted by prospective purchasers in commercial real estate transactions. Now, a little more than six months after…Read more

 
Regional Report
Bubbly Creek: Cleaning Up What Lies Beneath

In The Jungle, Upton Sinclair described this arm of the Chicago River as a “great open sewer … where the filth lasts forever and a day.”  Serving as a grim backdrop for the lives of a lower-class Russian immigrant family in the early 1900s, Bubbly Creek, as it is known,…Read more

 
Regional Report
Building Children’s Health From the Ground Up

It seems a natural fit, a brownfield program’s focus on healthy communities, and the expansion of a children’s hospital onto formerly contaminated land. That’s exactly what’s happening in Long Beach, California, where Miller Children’s Hospital is located. Miller is the first children’s hospital in the nation to receive a federal…Read more

 
Regional Report
Grimshaw to Green the Bronx: Affordable Housing Initiative Introduces Sustainable Living

A brownfield in the South Bronx is about to be greened, thanks to a sustainable housing competition conducted by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and AIA New York. An architect-developer team consisting of Grimshaw Architects, Dattner Architects, Phipps Houses, and Jonathan Rose Companies won the competition with…Read more


 
Regional Report
Ontario Brownfield Innovation Partnership

It’s a tricky job nursing a designer’s concept—through the bench, pilot and field tests—and into a viable, commercial technology. Success requires a timely mix of expertise and money, regulatory support and market interest. The newly-launched Ontario Brownfield Innovation Partnership (OBIP) is designed to foster precisely that mix. “We can’t continue…Read more

 
Regional Report
Victory at Victory Park

When thousands of fans jam the American Airlines Center at Victory Park, they probably don’t think about old power plants that have long since gone dim. Likewise, visitors who shop and dine at the park aren’t likely to ponder over the fate of long-forgotten landfills. The more than 100 Dallas…Read more

 
Special Focus
Debunking Brownfield Myths

Myth #4: Brownfield properties do not exist in small towns or rural areas. Reality: Brownfields are not defined by location. Thus, any village, township, small city, or rural area may be host to a brownfield property. Brownfields are defined as abandoned or underutilized properties where redevelopment or expansion may be…Read more

 
Special Focus
Residential Developments on Closed Landfills

Not so long ago, closed landfill sites were redeveloped, if at all, for recreation and park uses. “You can’t build a building on a closed landfill,” was the catchphrase of the day. As more commercial and institutional buildings were successfully constructed on closed landfill sites over the last 25 years,…Read more


 
View from the Field
Stopping Nimbys Before They Get Started

Brownfield developers face numerous challenges in their efforts to successfully remediate and develop contaminated sites on time and on budget. The ability to get past the complex process of securing a brownfield property, secure financing and then gain regulatory approvals to proceed, may give the development team a false sense…Read more

 
Women
The Fine Art of Engineering

Most would say that the disciplines of engineering and the arts couldn’t be more distinct. However, to Vasiliki (Vicky) Keramida, the founder, president and CEO of KERAMIDA Environmental, Inc., the fields of engineering and art could not be more complementary. In her native country of Greece, Keramida grew up in…Read more


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