Albion Leverages Brownfield Expertise for Atlanta Humane Society Project
In our role as Program Manager, we recruited Leonard Diprima from United Consulting and Scott Laseter of KMCL Law to join our brownfield remediation team. This exceptional group guided the Atlanta Humane Society (AHS) through the brownfield site evaluation and acceptance into the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Brownfield program. Boris Garbuz of Cushman & Wakefield led the purchasing efforts. The $3.5 million deal earned the ‘Land Deal of the Year’ in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2020 Best in Atlanta Real Estate Awards.
A brownfield is a property where redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence (or potential presence) of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. There were over 450,000 brownfield sites that existed across our country as of May 2019. Many are in metro areas where redevelopment is more popular – including former industrial sites, gas stations, and dry-cleaning establishments.
The EPD’s Land Protection Branch (LPB) currently manages a number of cleanup and oversight programs and were extremely supportive in Atlanta Humane Society’s purchase of the brownfield site that will house their new headquarters.
Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off of greenspaces and working lands. Reusing properties can result in an increase in the bottom line. Communities that have been able to use brownfield grants to leverage 150,120 jobs and more than $28 billion of public and private funding.
Potential benefits in purchasing and developing brownfield sites including limitation of liability, protection from regulatory changes, groundwater cleanup exemption, protection from offsite/third party liability, cost recovery through tax incentives, and ultimately – a great location at a reasonable cost.
AHS’s current location is on Howell Mill in hot West Midtown. Their new site is just two miles away, still located in West Midtown. Thus, AHS was able to obtain an ideal spot in a hot Atlanta area at a great rate.
Opportunity to convert contaminated sites into community assets attracts jobs, encourages partnerships and achieves broader economic development outcomes. Brownfield grants have been shown to increase local tax revenue and residential property values. Two brownfield sites you may be familiar with are Atlantic Station and parts of the Beltline.
Albion’s team understands the responsibilities, opportunities, and incentives involved in purchasing and remediating a brownfield site. We guide our clients through the process and educate them along the way. As Atlanta continues to grow, opportunities to redevelop these types of sites are plentiful. We are excited to be part of Atlanta’s continued broadening and development.