• Rockford, Ill.: Modernizing a Century–Old Community Landmark

  • RE3 Focus: Pennoni On Leading Edge of Sub-Slab Depressurization

  • Using GIS To Decipher Large-Scale Remediation Projects

  • Right Place, Right Time


April 2007

Mill Site Redevelopments: States Support the Trend
Community Outreach
Mill Site Redevelopments: States Support the Trend

Communities throughout the U.S. are embracing redevelopment initiatives that target mill sites. The most common are idled textile, lumber and steel mills located in communities throughout the South, New England, the Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest. To date, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Brownfields Grant Program has contributed to…Read more

A Brief Comparison of State-Facilitated TIFs

Tax Increment Financing (TIF), once considered on the cutting edge of economic development incentives, now serves as a mainstream tool in most parts of the country. The connection between brownfield projects and TIF financing works in certain circumstances, but it could have more widespread application, even reaching some weak-market and…Read more

Going Commercial: A State Perspective

Pennsylvania has, as a matter of policy, historically and financially supported the commercial redevelopment of brownfield properties. “The Keystone Principles & Criteria for Growth, Investment & Resource Conservation” were developed and implemented under the leadership of Governor Edward G. Rendell to serve as an interagency approach to sustainable economic development…Read more


Point: What Are the Right Incentives? As a developer active in the brownfield sector, it might seem odd to hear me question the financial incentives available for the redevelopment of brownfield properties. But the question facing the industry, I believe, is not whether brownfield transactions need incentives, but which incentives…Read more

RCRA Revitalization: New Uses for Former Industrial Sites

Not too long ago, I participated on an alumni panel at my college’s geology department. I gave a brief bio to a student and cringed as she introduced me as working at “the Environmental Protection Agency’s R-C-R-A Revitalization program,” spelling out each letter in the acronym RCRA. I forgot that…Read more

Feature Focus
An Environmental Insurer’s Perspective on Dry Cleaners

Dry cleaning properties pose environmental challenges for developers and property owners/operators. Contamination has turned many dry cleaning sites—often commercial properties such as strip malls, where dry cleaning is performed on site—into brownfields sites. Environmental insurance is one way to mitigate risk for brownfield redevelopment, and can also be used as…Read more

Feature Focus
Dry Cleaners: Airing Dirty Laundry

It’s your laundry. It’s supposed to be clean. And so, do we imagine, is the facility that makes that happen. The dry cleaner. But do you ever stop to consider the processes involved in keeping your delicate garments clean? They most typically involve a mix of chemicals, the residue of…Read more

Regional Report
Canadian Report: New Office in Hamilton Makes Brownfields a Priority

Hoping to breathe new life into the post-industrial town of Hamilton, Ontario, councilors recently voted to launch a new economic development office focused on investing in and marketing brownfield sites. The office is part of the city’s brownfield incentives program, Environmental Remediation and Site Enhancement (ERASE), which began in 2005.…Read more

Regional Report
EASTERN REPORT: Historic Navy Yard Gets New Life

Its ships might have set sail a long time ago, perhaps many of them gone to Davy Jones’ locker, but the port that once gave them berth is far from sunk. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) National Capitol Region has been busy converting a 55-acre portion of the former…Read more

Regional Report
Midwestern Report: Milwaukee Gives Green Light to Revitalizing Brown Corridor

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett recently unveiled plans to redevelop the 30th Street Industrial Corridor, a move that city officials believe will revitalize the community. Dubbed the “Greenlight District,” the city hopes to bring businesses back to the city through the use of Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) and other economic development…Read more

Regional Report
Southern Report: A Watershed Brownfield Story

Lake Conestee is a former mill-pond located on the Reedy River, six miles south of Greenville, South Carolina, in the center of the urban Greenville area. This water body, impounded by a historic stone masonry dam was formerly 130 acres in area. Today, the lake is nearly completely filled with…Read more

Regional Report
Western Report: Contamination Kicked on Route 66

At a ceremony held September 8, 2006, during Route 66 Days, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $200,000 brownfield grant to the city of Flagstaff, Arizona, to assess potential petroleum-contaminated sites along Route 66. Photo by Kevin Doran …Read more

Special Focus
A Second Chance for Community Greenspaces and Business

Strolling along a winding path at the Southern Gateway Nature Park along the Tuscarawas River in Ohio, one can easily forget the site’s history and status as a former Superfund site. Virginia bluebells dot the riverbanks in spring, milkweeds attract pollinators in summer and switchgrass waves tall and golden in…Read more

Special Focus
Commercial Redevelopment of Closed Landfills

Developers of commercial office parks might want to talk trash. The old municipal landfill, with its existing access road network and smart growth bona fides, could make an excellent site for office buildings and related land uses. However, knowing that foundation support, special utility improvements, landfill gas control, and liner…Read more

Special Focus
Debunking Brownfield Myths

Myth #2: Brownfields are not suitable for commercial or community reuse. Reality: Contrary to this common myth, brownfield properties are being successfully cleaned up and reused as hospitals, nature observatories, schools, corporate headquarters, high-rise urban condominiums, and single-family housing developments. State and federal environmental agencies, working with individuals cleaning up…Read more

Special Focus
Shopping Centers: “Survey Says”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). As such, ICSC’s Research Department surveyed close to 1,000 ICSC members—between December 15, 2006, and January 8, 2007—as to how they view the state of the shopping center industry over the next 50 years. This “thought…Read more

Setting Priorities for Redevelopment

Many companies and municipalities have large real estate holdings. When redevelopment becomes a focus, they often don’t understand how to set priorities for deciding which properties to redevelop first. Understand Your Portfolio The first step for a municipality is to create a master brownfield inventory, and USEPA or state grants…Read more

View from the Field
Brownfields Are the Trend

The old environmental adage, “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem,” was never more applicable or potentially advantageous to brownfield redevelopments than it is right now. This premise is based on the environmental momentum that is fueling the public’s appetite to physically do…Read more

Success on the Wings of Redevelopment

Things are really taking off for Salem, Oregon, and its mayor, Janet Taylor, both literally and figuratively. Taylor and her staff worked diligently to get Delta Airlines into Salem, a tough negotiation since the capital city is considered a catchment area for nearby Portland International Airport. Photo By Gerry Lewin…Read more

Swep: A Difference in the Field

Since its inception, the brownfield industry has been impacted by some of the most influential women in the country. And one needn’t have looked any further than the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields 2006 conference in Boston, Mass., this past November, to see just how many women are changing the landscape.…Read more

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