Brownfield Sites for New Commercial Construction: Pros and Cons

There are hundreds of thousands of brownfield sites nationwide, and you might be eyeing one for your next commercial construction project. Before you say yes to a new development project, read on to learn more about what a brownfield site is and the pros and cons of constructing on one of them.

What is a Brownfield Site?

Per the EPA, a brownfield is any previously developed land or property in which the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminant may complicate the redeveloped or reuse of that land.

Though it can be more challenging than other construction projects, revitalizing

abandoned or contaminated sites can benefit local communities and is a sustainable way to reuse brownfield sites.

Pros of Pursuing a Brownfield

Typical brownfields sit on the site of old military bases, industrial sites, waste management sites, or mining and sediment sites. They could also have been the location of nuclear, biological, chemical or conventional weapons production plants. There can be hazardous contaminants to contend with, but the EPA offers grants to assist with cleanup. The redevelopment project may also qualify for other government assistance and tax credits.

Additionally, brownfields are frequently located near cities so they offer built-in access to amenities, transit and a pool of potential employees. What’s more, they have much of the infrastructure needed for a new construction project already in place, including roads, drainage and utility connections.

Cons of Pursuing a Brownfield

Brownfield projects are not without their challenges. Because of the environmental cleanup required, project costs can increase and delays may be inevitable, especially if the permitting process doesn’t go as planned. Investors can also feel leery about financing a project that may have uncertain environmental contamination.

Another limiting factor with brownfield redevelopment projects is that project owners may be restricted by the existing infrastructure. The more that needs to be reworked, the more expensive and time consuming the project becomes.

All that said, a brownfield site should not be discounted as a potential new construction location for your business or warehouse. Government funding and tax credits can make the redevelopment project even more appealing.

If you have questions about brownfield construction or commercial construction of any kind here in SoFla, get in touch with our experienced team of professionals at Seacoast Construction to schedule a consultation.


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