12B — May 31 - June 13, 2013 — Industrial / Distribution Centers — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal www.marejournal.com I ndustrial R eal E state & D istribution C enters

By Gary Brown, RT Environmental Services, Inc. Industrial and commercial facilities – on the rise?


ndustrial and commer- cial centers in Pennsyl- vania seem to be on the

opportunities with existing spaces, particularly where the location is good. Coming back into our fold are clients who want us to complete an initial “look see”, ostensibly to determine whether a property, or a tenant space, is worthy of in-depth environmental due diligence. With so much resi- dential redevelopment in the area to the north and east of Center City Philadelphia, commercial redevelopment is following. In addition, once-

pubic properties, including schools, are being considered for mixed use commercial and residential development. Lower natural gas prices may signal an improvement in the industrial sector, al- though recent economic re- ports suggest that the job in- ducing “spinoff”, also known as a “multiplier effect” for Marcellus Shale resource development, is not likely to occur fromdevelopment of en- ergy resources. Nonetheless, the resurgence of the Marcus

Hook Refinery to provide jet fuel for Delta Airlines, and the possibility of Sunoco ex- porting natural gas through its former refinery, certainly stems the decline that had been feared in Lower Dela- ware County. Select commercial retailers, such as nationwide pharmacy chains, and strong regional grocery chains, such as Gi- ant Eagle in Pittsburgh, and Shop Rite near Philadelphia, remain strong, and both are selectively expanding. More

and more, redevelopment sites are eyed for commercial and industrial uses. In west- ern Pennsylvania, large sites are getting ready for redevel- opment, to take advantage of the situation should Shell decide to build its ethane cracker plant on the Ohio River north of Pittsburgh. In our profession, (envi- ronmental engineering and science) having an in-depth “Brownfields ready” staff, makes us ready to serve our clients, by taking the mys- tery out of environmental services, and being able to quickly evaluate sites to de- termine what it is going to take to facilitate successful redevelopment activity at a property, both technically and economically. Now, more than ever, our clients want to “get to the bottom line”, as quickly as reasonably pos- sible, because all too often, competing site opportunities, where there are no environ- mental issues of concern, set the “baseline” as to where profit can or cannot be made at the time of property pur- chase. Financial incentive and grant opportunities are not what they were historically, so there is less margin for error. Many properties with hard to define remediation costs are still being passed over. Although many com- peting firms do not have the Brownfields capabilities that they once did, we at RT remain at the ready, with a deep bench of staff and services for redevelopment projects, including expertise to deal with asbestos, mold, tanks, and impacted soil and groundwater issues, in all types of settings – urban, suburban, and even rural in some instances. If you have a commercial or industrial site that you need to get ready for sale, or to attract a future tenant, give us a call and we’ll be glad to lend our decades-long advice to help see what it takes to make a property or tenant space ready for reuse. Gary R. Brown, P.E., L.S.R.P., is president of RT Environmental Services, Inc. n

rise again, particularly with respect to existing properties. Our clients are telling us that it’s hard for de- velopers to

Gary Brown

make money on developing new space, because prof- it margins are razor thin. However, there are many

Since 1988


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