24A — January 25 - February 7, 2013 — Economic Development — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


E conomic D evelopment

By Gary Brown, RT Environmental Services Environmental due diligence and economic trends – Key focus points are on the upside


t the beginning of 2013, there are a number of signs pointing to mar-

uses to qualify for contami- nated site innocent purchaser protection, even where the owner may not qualify. EPA is increasingly redevelopment and prospective purchaser “friendly”. • At many sites RT was involved with through 2008, projects were suspended, but now are either back on line, or are seeing significant interest in one or more parcels. This is occurring even at the most heavily contaminated and eco- nomically depressed sites. • Lower energy costs are facilitating an industrial re-

surgence, and Pennsylvania is benefiting from this. • Now that we are past the “Fiscal Cliff”, the uncertainty of what may happen going for- ward will likely go down. • A big thing that happened in 2012, is that the New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) Program hit full stride. RT has almost four dozen LSRP projects, with some already receiving a “Response Action Outcome” Statement – The Final Ap- proval – (which is considered superior to the former “No Further Action” Letter).

Other particularly strong areas we are seeing include a resurgence of interest in underutilized or unused ser- vice station sites, or under- performing strip shopping centers which are in good locations. We are now getting referrals at an increased rate of three or four of these sites every month, which is similar to the retention rate for sites prior to 2008. There is business resur- gence in all of our geographic markets: • Western Pennsylvania and Ohio – Even at big Indus-

trial Sites. • New Jersey – At former Industrial Sites and at current and former Service Stations. • Eastern Pennsylvania –At dozens of well located Com- mercial Sites. We hope that all REALTORS and commercial and industrial property owners have a suc- cessful 2013. As always, we look forward to being of service to the Real Estate Industry. Gary R. Brown is presi- dent of RT Environmental Services, Inc., a King of Prussia, PAenvironmental services firm. n Lakewood UEZ increases Disaster Assistance Loan Funds by $500k LAKEWOOD, NJ — As part of its disaster assistance loan program, the Lakewood Devel- opment Corporation (LDC) with the support of the Lakewood Township Committee approved another $500,000 for Lakewood Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) businesses impacted by super storm Sandy. Originally the LDC had set aside one million dollars. Patricia Komsa, the execu- tive director of the UEZ, says, “The disaster assistance loan program was well-received. So far we have approved about 40 loans, totaling $1.2 million dollars. Once the disaster as- sistance loan committee met with applicants and realized the extent of their losses, we decided to allocate an additional $500,000 beyond the $1 million already set aside to meet the critical financial needs of our business.” Many businesses in Lake- wood’s UEZ zone were without power for two weeks or more. In addition to the storm damage caused by Sandy, restaurants and grocery stores were espe- cially hard hit, having lost gro- ceries, other perishable items, in addition to their overall loss of business revenue. The disaster assistance loans granted are being used to re- place equipment and inventory, and provide money for cash-flow shortages. The loanprogram, a two-tiered system, provides initial approv- als for loans up to $10,000, with no interest for three years. Businesses may also apply for extended assistance loans of an additional $25,000 at 2% inter- est for 10 years. n

ket upticks, which is good f o r REAL - TORS going forward. Key items we see helping in- clude: • EPA up- dated its pro-

Gary Brown

visions regarding tenants becoming responsible for con- tamination at already contam- inated sites, under federal law, by making it easier for tenant

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