Strategy BE1.3: Facilitate the redevelopment and reinvestment in vacant, underutilized, and brownfield properties.
The Environmental Protection Agency defines brownfields as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” The redevelopment of brownfields represents one of the greater opportunities to secure and prepare land for new development. Since many brownfields are former industrial sites, they are typically well located, with access to water and sewer infrastructure. In addition, many brownfield sites are located in low income communities, which could provide an opportunity for redevelopment and job opportunities for those residents. Strategies to facilitate the redevelopment of brownfield sites include initiating a study to understand the economic value of brownfield redevelopment in the GroWNC region, providing low- or no-cost technical assistance to inexperienced developers interested in redeveloping brownfield sites, and establishing a low interest loan program to fund brownfield clean-up in targeted areas. Many funding sources are available for brownfield remediation and redevelopment, including the Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund managed by the Land-of-Sky Regional Council.