Finding Creative Solutions to Redevelopment Challenges



Previously this year, New York State developed a brownfield redevelopment strategy. Soon thereafter, the Iowa State Senate passed a comparable costs establishing a redevelopment tax program for brownfield and greyfield sites in that state.

The cost of cleansing brownfield sites can be so high as to avoid them from being established at all. As a result, the damaging pollutants stay in the environment, positioning health threats while the abandoned home at the same time prevents the neighborhood's economic development.

On the other hand, a "greyfield" site seldom poses any ecological or health risks. It is a term that was created in the early 2000s to explain empty and abandoned business and retail residential or commercial property. (The word "greyfield" describes the often-expansive parking area that surround the structures.) The redevelopment of greyfields usually costs less since there are no unsafe contaminants to get rid of. In addition, the existing facilities (including pipes and electrical wiring) can really lower the cost of development.

A revitalization strategy launched by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2005 suggested greyfields as feasible development opportunities because of their often-close proximity to primary traffic arteries and public gathering places like sports complexes.

In 2002, President Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which designated more funding for the clean-up and development of brownfield sites. Since greyfields present no genuine environmental or health risks, there is little federal financing designated specifically for their development.

However, Iowa's just recently passed legislation makes it possible for the state's Department of Economic Development to use up to $5 million of its assigned redevelopment tax credits for both brownfield and greyfield websites. The existing redevelopment provision allows for a maximum thirty percent credit, based upon the overall certifying investment costs. At minimum, a twelve percent credit is given for certifying financial investment in a greyfield site. If the project also fulfills the requirements for "green advancements," that credit is bumped up to 15 percent. A minimum 24 percent credit is available for brownfield sites, and is increased to 30 percent for green developments. With this brand-new law in place, more loan is now readily available for builders and investors happy to check out development possibilities on home deemed brownfield or greyfield.

Lawmakers hope the new provision provides incentive for developers to use old commercial websites and uninhabited shopping centers, which abound, instead of looking for to build on formerly unused land. Other states are thinking about comparable legislation as they try to find creative ways to encourage development while keep costs as low as possible.


Shortly thereafter, the Iowa State Senate passed a similar bill establishing a redevelopment tax program for brownfield and greyfield sites in that state.

Iowa's recently passed legislation enables the state's Department of Economic Development to apply up to $5 million of its allocated redevelopment tax credits for both brownfield and greyfield sites. A minimum 24 percent credit is available for brownfield sites, and is increased to 30 percent for green developments. With this new law Mayfair Collections in place, more money is now available for builders and investors willing to explore development possibilities on property deemed brownfield or greyfield.

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