Finding Creative Solutions to Redevelopment Difficulties



Previously this year, New York State developed a brownfield redevelopment strategy. Shortly thereafter, the Iowa State Senate passed a similar costs 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 might be made complex by the existence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, contaminant, or pollutant." A brownfield site is generally the former location of a chemical plant or production facility that made or utilized possibly hazardous substances like industrial cleaning products or fertilizer. Though a center might have been deserted for many years, harmful chemicals may still exist in the center itself and the ground on which it sits. The cost of cleaning brownfield sites can be so high regarding avoid them from being established at all. As a result, the harmful impurities stay in the environment, presenting health dangers while the abandoned property simultaneously prevents the area's financial development.

In contrast, a "greyfield" website hardly ever presents any environmental or health dangers. It is a term that was coined in the early 2000s to explain abandoned and empty industrial and retail property. (The word "greyfield" refers to the often-expansive car park that surround the structures.) Because there are no unsafe pollutants to dispose of, the redevelopment of greyfields typically costs less. In addition, the existing infrastructure (consisting of pipes and electrical wiring) can actually lower the expense of development.

A revitalization plan launched Mayfair Collections by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2005 suggested greyfields as feasible development opportunities because of their often-close proximity to primary traffic arteries and public gathering places like sports complexes.

In 2002, President Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which designated more funding for the clean-up and development of brownfield sites. Because greyfields posture no genuine environmental or health hazards, there is little federal funding designated particularly for their development.

However, Iowa's just recently passed legislation allows the state's Department of Economic Development to use as much as $5 million of its designated redevelopment tax credits for both brownfield and greyfield sites. The existing redevelopment arrangement enables an optimum thirty percent credit, based on the overall qualifying investment expenses. At minimum, a twelve percent credit is granted for certifying investment in a greyfield website. If the project likewise meets the requirements for "green advancements," that credit is bumped as much as 15 percent. A minimum 24 percent credit is readily available for brownfield sites, and is increased to 30 percent for green advancements. With this new law in place, more loan is now offered for home builders and investors going to explore development possibilities on home deemed brownfield or greyfield.

Lawmakers hope the brand-new provision offers reward for developers to use old vacant shopping centers and industrial sites, which abound, rather than seeking to build on formerly unused land. Other states are considering similar legislation as they try to find creative ways to motivate development while keep expenses as low as possible.


Shortly afterwards, the Iowa State Senate passed a comparable bill establishing a redevelopment tax program for brownfield and greyfield websites in that state.

Iowa's recently passed legislation allows the state's Department of Economic Development to use up to $5 million of its designated redevelopment tax credits for both brownfield and greyfield sites. A minimum 24 percent credit is offered for brownfield websites, and is increased to 30 percent for green advancements. With this new law in location, more loan is now available for contractors and financiers ready to explore development possibilities on residential or commercial property considered brownfield or greyfield.

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