Remediation & Brownfield Redevelopment

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Remediation and brownfield redevelopment programs effectively repurpose properties that have been abandoned or underutilized due to actual or perceived environmental contamination. Redevelopment of these properties can make good use of existing infrastructure, promote job growth and increase the local tax base.

While many municipalities have economic development programs in place to address the surrounding problems — outdated structures, old infrastructure, and undersized parcels — the liability, costs, and delays associated with environmental contamination have been obstacles to redevelopment of these properties, as compared to undeveloped “greenfield” parcels, leaving valuable redevelopment opportunities unrealized.

Foley attorneys help clients bridge the gap to make brownfield projects viable, helping identify financial resources and reducing regulatory costs and complexity. We can efficiently guide you through the related environmental laws and requirements affecting the redevelopment of brownfield properties. We can effectively assist you with the real estate acquisition process, involving considerations with land zoning, New Markets Tax Credits, Opportunity Zones, remediation tax credits, insurance and more. We help develop cost-effective remedial strategies under state and federal brownfields programs, manage the liability risks and delays, and help to integrate cleanup plans with your business plans for the intended site.

Representative Experience:

  • Represented a 501(c)(3) organization in the pre-development, budget, and brownfields loan negotiations for a 40,000 square foot shopping center on a brownfields site in a neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Constructed a $14 Million New Market Tax Credit financing to launch a $150 Million waterfront redevelopment of 6 acres of contaminated industrial land in the Harbor District of Milwaukee. We have used similar financings on many other projects, including a former airfield and missile base, commercial freight terminal and former automotive manufacturing facility. Like many of our projects, the Harbor District project also involved the negotiation of State and local financial incentives.
  • Provided counsel to the University of Illinois – Chicago in the 10 year, $525 Million redevelopment of 68 acres in the heart of Chicago. This massive site assembly presented complicated environmental and regulatory challenges, but culminated in an award winning residential and commercial district in the South Campus area of the University.
  • Served as bond counsel for a Wisconsin city’s private placement and issuance of $300,000 General Obligation Promissory Notes, Series 2012A (Ready for Reuse Loan Program), in connection with a ready for reuse Brownfield remediation program.
  • Represent the developer of Ballpark Commons, a sports and entertainment district featuring a minor league stadium, in Franklin, Wisconsin, that is constructed on a former licensed municipal waste landfill. This multi-year development involved complicated negotiations and a public-private partnership with the County and City both in the allocation and funding of future responsibility, and in the financing of the project.
  • Represented a publicly traded company in the development, construction, and financing of a brownfield waste heat, power, and steam production facility.
  • Assisted with the legal aspects of creating a 50-acre soccer complex (including four championship fields with underground watering and lighting) out of a former municipal landfill. Obtained brownfield environmental liability protections for the owner/municipality, while terminating all environmental liability for the responsible companies. The soccer complex was designed using consultants with professional and college sport field experience who set the criteria for the building facilities, soils, grass, etc. Foley represented the group of companies that designed and funded the project, handled the environmental liability work, and negotiated a turnkey construction contract for the project.
  • Represented Brunswick Corporation in the redevelopment of a former plant site into a city library involving brownfields stimulus funding. The project involved arrangements for the transfer of jurisdiction from the U.S. EPA to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to promote the redevelopment using stimulus funding. In addition, access arrangements with a neighboring property owner involved Foley attorneys to determine of responsibility for groundwater contamination.
  • Foley represented a group of investors in the acquisition financing for credit facilities totaling $5.4 million for the purchase of a manufacturing company in an auction by creditors under Chapter 128 of the Wisconsin Statutes.