Finding Creative Solutions to Redevelopment Challenges



Earlier this year, New York State developed a brownfield redevelopment strategy. Quickly afterwards, the Iowa State Senate passed a comparable bill establishing a redevelopment tax program for brownfield and greyfield sites in that state.

The U.S. Epa specifies a brownfield website as "real estate, the growth, redevelopment, or reuse which may be complicated by the presence or prospective existence of a dangerous compound, toxin, or impurity." A brownfield site is typically the former location of a chemical plant or production facility that made or used potentially hazardous compounds like commercial cleaning products or fertilizer. A facility may have been abandoned for years, hazardous chemicals may still be present in the facility itself and the ground on which it sits. The cost of cleansing brownfield websites can be so high regarding avoid them from being established at all. As a result, the damaging impurities stay in the environment, posturing health risks while the abandoned residential or commercial property at the same time impedes the community's economic development.

In contrast, a "greyfield" site rarely poses any environmental or health risks. It is a term that was coined in the early 2000s to describe empty and abandoned commercial and retail property. (The word "greyfield" refers to the often-expansive parking lots that surround the structures.) The redevelopment of greyfields generally costs less because there are no harmful contaminants to deal with. In addition, the existing infrastructure (including plumbing and electrical wiring) can actually lower the expense of development.

A revitalization plan released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2005 recommended greyfields as feasible development chances because of their often-close distance to primary traffic arteries and public meeting place like sports complexes.

In 2002, President Bush signed into law the Small company Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which assigned more funding for the clean-up and development of brownfield sites. Unfortunately, because greyfields pose no genuine ecological or health dangers, there is little federal financing assigned specifically for their development.

Iowa's recently passed legislation enables the state's Department of Economic Development to apply up to $5 million of its allocated redevelopment tax credits for both brownfield and greyfield websites. The existing redevelopment arrangement enables a maximum thirty percent credit, based on the total qualifying financial investment expenses. At minimum, a twelve percent credit is given for qualifying investment in a greyfield website. If the job also meets the requirements for "green advancements," that credit is bumped approximately 15 percent. A minimum 24 percent credit is offered for brownfield sites, and is increased to 30 percent for green developments. With this brand-new law in place, more loan is now offered for investors and home builders happy to check out development possibilities on property deemed brownfield or greyfield.

Lawmakers hope the new provision supplies reward for developers to use old uninhabited shopping centers and industrial sites, which abound, instead of seeking to build on formerly unused land. Other states are thinking about similar legislation as they look for imaginative methods to encourage development while keep expenses as low as possible.


Quickly thereafter, the Iowa State Senate passed a similar costs developing a redevelopment tax program for brownfield and greyfield sites in that state.

Iowa's recently passed legislation makes it possible for 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 Mayfair Collections credit is readily available for brownfield sites, and is increased to 30 percent for green developments. With this brand-new law in place, more money is now readily available for financiers and contractors willing to check out development possibilities on home deemed brownfield or greyfield.

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