Brownfield Sites

Brownfield sites (or brownfields) are parcels of land that have been previously used for industrial purposes or other commercial use. In some cases the land may be contaminated by low concentrations of hazardous waste or pollution, but it has the potential to be productively re-purposed once cleaned up. Cleaning up and reinvesting in brownfield properties not only helps the environment, it can also reduce urban blight, revitalize communities, and stimulate community growth by creating new jobs.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through fiscal 2014 the Brownfields Program has helped stimulate the following economic growth in local communities:

  • Averaged (per project) $17.79 per EPA dollar expended
  • Produced 90,363 jobs nationwide
  • Increased residential property values 5.1% – 12.8% near brownfield sites when cleanup is completed
  • Promoted better area-wide planning

Advantages of Brownfield Sites

  • May include existing environmental licenses and council or agency approvals
  • An existing infrastructure may already be in place
  • The total project may cost less (assuming existing structures and services can be used without major retrofitting and bringing structures up to code)
  • Occupancy may be faster depending on the extent of modifications required
  • Opportunity to revitalize unused sites and contribute to community revitalization and economic growth
  • There may be incentives or grants to help clean up and redevelop brownfield sites

Potential Disadvantages of Brownfield Sites

  • Operation efficiency may be compromised due to existing layout and design
  • Older structures may not meet structural requirements and current building codes
  • Higher risk of cost overruns due to unexpected issues
  • The site and/or buildings may have contamination issues
  • Potential space constraints that may limit expansion
  • Potentially higher maintenance costs

The decision to set up operations on brownfield vs. greenfield sites is dependent upon the needs of a given manufacturing firm. OPF Enterprises can help explore options and ensure that your company finds a site that best meets your needs. Contact us for further information.

Brownfield Sites Undergoing Redevelopment