Trash or Treasure? How to successfully clean and sell a brownfield property.

Does your neighborhood have a vacant lot or a closed business like a gas station or dry cleaner? Tired of passing it every day? One reason it might be that way is pollution (or suspected pollution) from a previous owner.

Let’s say you want to do something about it – get it cleaned up and pursue your own dream of a new business. What do you do to turn a polluted liability into an asset for you and your community?

There’s no single recipe for success. Every site is different. Some can be cleaned up and redeveloped quickly. Others take years or even decades. Sometimes buyer after buyer backs out when they realize the extent of pollution.

But if you were determined to move forward to clean up and redevelop a brownfield, there are several steps you should take.

And, when selling that property–either before or after cleanup–finding the right buyer is the key to success.

As a seller, you want to be sure that you can redirect the significant reserves you have kept on the balance sheets for that property on to other profitable uses. So you want to be sure that when you sell the asset, you don’t have to address it again.

There are several basic issues that you should consider when offering to sell these properties to a buyer.

It’s best to deal with an experienced redeveloper, preferably one without a history of litigiousness. You’ll need to ensure that protected if the buyer doesn’t complete the remediation. Also, be sure they’ve put together a good investment team that knows both the public and privates sides of funding.

Our experience is that, especially in hot markets, government agencies embrace someone who is willing to take these often eyesore properties and make them productive, tax-generating sites. Smart investors realize that a formerly contaminated property has the potential for a dramatic increase in value if the job is done correctly.

See full article by William Lynott and Philip Hinerman in National Real Estate Investor.

See full article by Craig Beebe in Oregon Metro.

See Viridian Partners website.

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