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Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized properties where expansion, development or reuse may be hindered due to environmental contamination such as the presence of a hazardous substance or pollutant.  Former and abandoned gas stations, factories, rail yards and dry cleaners are common types of brownfield. 

You found the perfect property to build or invest in but how do you know if the property is a brownfield?  Here are a few signs that might indicate it is a brownfield

  • Discolored soil or water
  • Old storage tanks
  • Strange odors
  • Old equipment
  • Minimal or no vegetation
  • Garbage and debris

If a piece of property is a brownfield can it ever be reused?  Yes, but it must be cleaned and decontaminated to a level that human activity is safe.  Western New York brownfield sites occupy a significant part of Buffalo’s prime property that can be used for redevelopment.

New York State and the Department of Environmental Conservation established the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) in 2003 to encourage private-sector cleanups of brownfield sites and to promote redevelopment. 

The Benefits of Clean Up and Redevelopment of Brownfield Sites in Buffalo Include:

  • Reduces public health risks posed by contaminants found on brownfield sites
  • Increasing public safety with the elimination of properties that may attract crime and illegal dumping
  • Reducing sprawl by reusing land and leaving open space undeveloped
  • Increase tax revenue of the area by returning these abandoned properties to the tax base and  raising the value of underused properties

If you happen to be the owner of a brownfield site don’t think of it as a lost cause.  With clean up and rehabilitation your property can be redeveloped as a potential new park, business, or mixed use building.  Other benefits for rehabbing your brownfield site such as

  • Avoiding potential environment enforcement actions by government agencies
  • Tax initiatives for brownfield site cleanup and redevelopment
  • Increased value of the rehabilitated property
  • Job creation

BE3 can provide you with guidance and analysis of a brownfield from initial assessment to final site clean up.  We also can assist with tax credit analyses, design and remediation cost estimates and providing an understanding of the multi-step process.  For more information on brownfield clean-up and reuse call us today at 716-362-6532 or use the contact form on our website and we will help assist you with all of your brownfield needs.

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