Greenfield sites (or greenfields) are undeveloped areas within a city or rural area. This land is either left to evolve in a natural state, or it may be used for agriculture, or landscaped for aesthetic purposes. Greenfield sites are often considered for urban development projects, including the building of manufacturing plants and other commercial projects. These sites may consist of unfenced open land, urban lots, or restricted properties not open to the public due to private or government restrictions. Rather than building on a greenfield site, a company or developer may decide to redevelop a brownfield site – a previously used commercial property that has been abandoned or is currently underutilized.
Advantages of Greenfield Sites
- Provides complete design flexibility to meet project requirements
- Generally offers ability to expand in future to accommodate growth
- New facilities generally have lower maintenance costs
- Can usually be either leased or owned
Disadvantages of Greenfield Sites
- Sites may not be fully developed and may have additional development costs such as costs for sewer and water
- Approval time frames may be longer for new sites
- The high demand for industrial sites may mean that available sites have challenges such as slope or ground condition issues which may lead to extra costs
- Development on greenfield sites may be opposed by some constituents who believe that undeveloped land should be preserved
Whether a company is best suited to develop greenfield vs. brownfield sites is dependent upon a wide variety of factors. Let OPF Enterprises help your company explore the various options to ensure that your company makes the best choice given all criteria that must be considered. Contact OPF for further information.