Why Redevelop Brownfields?
Redevelopment of brownfields potentially benefits the environment, the community, and industry by preserving green areas outside cities:
- Restores property for productive use and increases property values
- Increases the local tax base
- Improves the community image
- Mitigates public health and safety concerns
- Uses existing infrastructure (streets, sewer systems, lighting) resulting in cost savings
- Creates jobs
Brownfields redevelopment can benefit both private investors and the communities in which they are located. For the private sector, brownfields redevelopment can mean new business opportunities, the potential for profit on unused or under-utilized properties, improved community and environmental stewardship, and access to untapped urban or rural markets.
What are the barriers to Brownfields redevelopment?
Communities, municipalities, and private investors encounter many impediments to redeveloping brownfields:
- Lack of funding for cleanup
- Concerns over liability
- Need for environmental assessments of property
- Unfavorable neighborhood or market conditions
- Land use issues
- Reluctance to invest in distressed communities due to concerns with socio-economic conditions
- Lack of community support
Brownfields Project Case Study: Navarre Community Center, 1390 N. 2nd St., Navarre
Status: Redevelopment in Progress
November 2013- West side of proposed Community Center during Phase I BTA.
The Dickinson County Navarre Lyons Club owns the former elementary school building in Navarre, and wished to redevelop the structure into a Community Center. The school building was originally constructed in 1928, with additions added in the mid-1950s. Due to the potential for asbestos and other environmental concerns, the Lyons Club applied to the Brownfields program in November 2013. Phase I and Phase II environmental assessments were completed through the Brownfields Program. An asbestos survey identified asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). Following Phase II activities, the property was cleared for redevelopment.
The project received a grant for $299,998 from the Kansas Small Towns Environment Program (KANSTEP) through the Kansas Department of Commerce. Redevelopment plans include removing the attached wood building to provide more space for parking; installing new plumbing, electrical, lighting, flooring, and windows; and making the building accessible for Americans with disabilities. The ACMs that would be disturbed during these renovations include external window caulk and glaze, and an approximate 100 square foot area of floor tile and associated mastic. Through funding provided by the Brownfields Cleanup Assistance Program, these ACMs were properly abated in January 2015. After the abatement, volunteer hours were spent to cover the window openings. Renovations will begin in the upcoming months.
January 2015- East side of proposed Community Center during asbestos abatement.
January 2015- Volunteers replacing window openings with plywood after asbestos abatement.