2C — September 29 - October 12, 2017 — Fall Preview — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal

B rownfields By Katrina VanDeusen, Environmental Logic, LLC Phytoremediation is the Answer to Untapped Potential

I n today’s volatile mar- ketplace, finding those properties with high re-

with pristine properties. The only thing certain in life is change, and with it the political infrastructure that fuels the Environmental Protection Agencies frame of reference. This in turn fuels the market for growth and expansion or stagnation through regulatory changes. New Jersey has just recently gone through major regula- tory changes with respect to environmental legislation di- rectives. No longer can former industrial sites lay fallow and just pay taxes on properties while they monitor environ- mental impacts, they must resolve environmental issues within a five-year time frame. This program of reevaluation was initiated largely in 2012 with the Licensed State Reme- diation Professionals (LSRP) program. This means the majority of former industrial properties with historic con- tamination are due for closure in 2018 in New Jersey. This will provide an explosion of properties that have already been investigated and remedi- ated to some extent, located in ideal real estate markets. The key to navigating a successful return is understanding your environmental liability prior to purchasing the property with respect to the current regulatory framework. Historically these Brown- fields and former industrial properties have been shied away from due to the high quotient of unknowns when compared to pristine prop- erties. The unknowns re- volved around the variables of environmental legislation changes, state and municipal economies and lack of infor- mation due to improper, or incomplete environmental investigation. This has all changed for the better and is allowing for a much higher probability of success with respect to redevelopment of Brownfield properties because with the LSRP program your due diligence Phase I Site Assessments actually contain the correct information for careful evaluation. So don’t be afraid to engage in specula- tion of Brownfield properties, you may be overlooking a tremendous asset for rede- velopment. Katrina VanDeusen is Director of Ecological En- gineering at Environmen- tal Logic, LLC. n

their low price square footage due to the previous industrial operations. These Brownfield properties contain only low- level concentrations of con- taminants which can easily be addressed through innovative remediation strategies. These innovative strategies include the use of geotextile liners, passive venting of vapors and phytoremediation capping. Of all of these, phytoremediation capping on large properties with ecological concerns can be both the most cost effec- tive and the only remediation strategy accepted by the De-

properties are located on the rivers, or overlooking an environmentally sensitive natural resource such as a lake, ocean, pond, etc.. Land use regulations have made it virtually impossible to expand development into any pristine areas, however, an untapped market is purchasing environ- mentally impacted properties. A large number of residu- ally impacted Brownfield properties are located adja- cent to rivers, streams and oceans in New York and New Jersey, just waiting for savvy investors to take advantage of

partments of Environmental Protection. This is because the cost of excavating soil and then backfilling with clean certified soil has skyrocketed in price and is often not al- lowed because it will destroy the sensitive receptor’s natu- ral habitat, and/or hydrol- ogy, causing natural resource damages that can render the property a complete financial loss. By marrying redevelop- ment with maintaining sensi- tive receptors and complying with environmental regula- tions you can reap the benefits at a much larger scale than

t u r n s o n investment c a n s e em improbable. What drives t h e h i g h - est returns is location, location, lo- cation. But where in the

New York Metropolitan area can you find such properties with untapped potential? Some of the most sought out Katrina VanDeusen

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