Although some states maintain databases of regulated and contaminated properties, buyers and developers evaluating that real estate still need to be able to find that information and conduct more research themselves, a brownfields industry expert told Bloomberg BNA on October 1, 2015.
Aside from a few ad-hoc surveys and efforts by some cities, however, there is no comprehensive database to search and evaluate vacant, abandoned and underutilized real estate, said Dan French, founder and CEO of Brownfield Listings, an online redevelopment marketplace dedicated to real estate reuse.
The new website streamlines that process and opens this market by offering a platform at which relevant stakeholders can connect, French said.
French, a former corporate attorney with experience in environmental due diligence, launched the site in July. “We realized there was no real redevelopment channel, nothing to serve the brownfield real estate ecosystem as a whole. So, we built an off-the-shelf tool that was available to everyone,” French said.
Brownfield Listings fixes a broken brownfields market by flattening the brownfield information silos and providing a marketplace available to all interested parties.
French said he hopes the platform serves as “the medium between the property owners, the purchasers, professionals and all potential parties to a deal.”
In the end, French said, it all comes down to exposure and availability of information. “Brownfield Listings allows anyone to find interesting redevelopment opportunities much more easily, find the information they need in the listing, and have direct contact with the owner,” he said.
Logan B. Smith, Program Manager with the Siskiyou County Economic Development Council, agreed. “Brownfield Listings offers exposure. It offers an educated clientele, as far as knowing what brownfields are. And it offers a relatively inexpensive way for rural areas to redevelop and pursue their sustainable economic goals.”