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Reasons to Consider Buying a Contaminated Site for your New Business Location

October 12, 1996

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James K. O’Brien

Existing infrastructure, transportation convenience, availability of trained workers, and proximity to markets and materials are good reasons for commercial and manufacturing operations to be located in current industrialized contaminated areas (“brownfields”). Rebuilding in these areas saves valuable farmlands and green spaces around metropolitan areas. Some additional reasons to consider buying or developing a brownfield:

  • Document the property condition when you buy, and you will not be legally obligated to clean up the existing contamination.
  • If the contamination is not posing a threat to the environment, a reasonable amount can often be left in place, thereby avoiding expensive remediation.
  • The cost of dealing with contamination may be favorably treated as an offset against future property taxes.
  • The cost of dealing with contamination may be favorably treated as an offset against future business taxes.
  • The investigation and environmental report can remain confidential.
  • Tax-free bond financing (at 2%-3% lower than conventional financing) may be available for qualified investments in land, building and equipment (including manufacturing and commercial operations in the Detroit Enterprise Zone).

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Article Originally Published: Fall 1996

The information contained in this article is not intended to be legal advice. Readers should not act or rely on this information without consulting an attorney.