This Guest Article for REVITALIZATION is by Mary Scott Nabers.
It should be noted that both state and federal officials are funding projects to remedy environmental and safety issues that have persisted for many years.
New funding will also recycle many public assets and make them revenue-producing in the future. Federal and state funding sources are openly and aggressively incentivizing private sector investors to help cover the costs for these types of projects.
New funding for remediation projects is one example. In December, state leaders in Connecticut announced the availability of $24.6 million in funding for clean-up projects with the objective to attract private sector investors in 16 municipalities throughout the state.
Without remediation, the selected sites are unusable and often hazardous due to blight, pollution and contamination. The plan is to transform numerous parcels of land into attractive sites for redevelopment.
The Connecticut funding is designed to leverage an additional $625 million in private-sector investment. In the city of Meriden, a silver manufacturing factory that was vacated nearly three decades ago is one of the first remediation targets.
In Ridgefield, a redevelopment project is halted until existing sewer infrastructure and remediation efforts can be completed. An old train station will be renovated, and the site area will be revitalized. Private sector partners with remediation expertise will be in high demand in 2023.A $50 million project in Birmingham, Alabama will be launched to provide for redevelopment of the city’s north side. A partnership that will steer millions from both the city of Birmingham and Jefferson County, while also consolidating $30 million in existing bond funds, will deliver a $50 million amphitheater.
The new facility, along with Birmingham’s broader redevelopment efforts, are conditioned on-site remediation. A vacant hospital campus that left a persistent blight on the surrounding region’s economic development must be remediated before other redevelopments can proceed.
Virginia leaders recently made public that $24 million will be disbursed to remediate and attract investment partners to 22 former industrial sites for redevelopment.
Virginia’s governor announced that grants from the state are available for projects to remediate structures that blight surrounding developments. One targeted site must be rehabilitated before the city can move forward with redevelopment of the entire downtown region.
An $86 million project in Alexandria, Virginia. is scheduled for launch in the second half of 2023, and it is critical to a large redevelopment project that is underway. After acquiring a vacant, blighted mall property for $54 million, city leaders are now committed to delivering a $1 billion hospital and medical campus to an underserved area. The vacant mall must be demolished and the site remediated before the project can be completed.
In California, state funding for transportation alternatives will fund remediation projects tied to redevelopment initiatives. The California Transportation Commission will contribute $1.7 billion in 2023 for various types of projects that will result in the recycling of public assets.
Some municipalities in the state can use the funding to create or enhance assets related to transportation. Such initiatives include multi-use paths, new sidewalks and pedestrian street lighting for underserved neighborhoods for revitalization.
A $684 million project in Memphis, Tennessee includes redevelopment plans that will redefine the entire cityscape. Three monumental venues are targeted for work in 2023.
Plans outline renovation work on the FedEx Forum, AutoZone Park, and Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium along with the construction of a new venue to host a professional soccer club.
Before work can begin, the city must demolish the Mid-South Coliseum, which was closed permanently several years ago. Part of the funding for Memphis’s $684 million multi-venue redevelopment will come from private sector investors and the city’s hotel/motel occupancy tax.
City leaders in Louisville, Kentucky have $10 million from the federal government to launch a site preparation project in 2023. Work is planned for a remediation project on a former chemical production plant that closed in 1994. After 75 years of producing toxic lacquers, varnishes, enamels, epoxy-based coatings and acrylics, the site must be cleaned of all soil pollution.
The Louisville Gardens multi-purpose arena in Louisville is targeted for redevelopment with a private entertainment group. The objective is to turn a historic building into the focal point of a long-term economic development strategy.
City leaders have tagged the project with a cost projection of $65 million and the plan is to deliver theater space, soundstages, a retail area and a public museum. The Louisville Gardens building originally opened in 1905 and because of its historical aspect, it is expected to attract even more interest from private sector investors.
Enthusiasm for the building’s redevelopment is also bolstered by the governor’s decision to offer a tax credit of 30-35% (approximately $75 million annually) for the construction of production studio infrastructure. The effort will be designed to revitalize an underused area of the city.
Another California project of high interest will be launched in Los Angeles in 2023 and is projected for completion in late 2025. Cost for the effort is placed at $47.5 million. This project will prepare sites for redevelopment in a notoriously blighted neighborhood that has suffered decades of disinvestment.
The city plans to reverse those trends with over 2 miles of multi-use trails, an urban canopy of at least 500 street trees, approximately 540 LED pedestrian streetlights, and 27,000 square feet of rehabilitated sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. The redevelopment will culminate in the construction of a new public plaza.
Remediation and redevelopment projects will be rampant over the next several years. Each project will require numerous types of partnerships with contractors. Most upcoming opportunities have already produced detailed planning documents that are available for interested potential partners.
This article first appeared in SPI Insights. Reprinted here (with minor edits) by permission.
About the Author:
Mary Scott Nabers is President and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
She has decades of experience working in the public-private sector.
A well-recognized expert in the P3 and government contracting fields, she is often asked to share her industry insights with top publications and through professional speaking engagements.