2000 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2000 09:04:25 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] ECS Land Reuse Report Shows More than 47,600 Acres of Land Are Bein
Christine Weirsky
ECS, Inc. at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency, 
Sept. 11 & 12: 404-577-1234 
After Sept. 12: 800-327-1414 or 609-758-4692



ECS Land Reuse Report Shows More than 47,600 Acres of Land Are Being Reused

ATLANTA, September 11, 2000 -- More than 47,600 acres, or 74 square miles
of land - collectively an area larger than Washington, D.C. and three times
the size of Manhattan - are in the process of being recycled, according to
the first annual ECS Land Reuse Report released today. 

"As communities struggle with curbing sprawl and preserving their green
space, the good news is that many are making a lot of progress in reusing
land or cleaning it up and returning it to productive use," said Bob
Hallenbeck, senior vice president of government affairs for ECS. "Reusing
74 square miles of land is a major step in the right direction. We are
seeing just the tip of the iceberg in a movement that can put a significant
amount of land back to good use and preserve other land from development,"
he added.

The ECS Land Reuse Report provides a "snapshot" of national and regional
trends in the reuse of contaminated land through a media coverage review
about these activities. ECS, Inc., one of the nation's leading providers of
environmental insurance and the Council of Urban Economic Development
(CUED), based in Washington, D.C., performed a media analysis of 347
newspaper and business journal articles published from May 1999 to early
July 2000 and collected from on-line sources. The report is available
on-line at www.ecsinc.com/landreuse.

"An immense wealth of information regarding specific land reuse deals and
more general land reuse trends has been gleaned from these articles,"
according to Ed Gilliland, vice president and senior director of Advisory
Service for CUED. "Newspaper and journal reporters are in a unique position
to observe and convey information regarding development in their particular
towns, cities and regions that cannot be obtained from anywhere else and
provide a good range of information about large, newsworthy projects." 

"From the stories reported this year, it's evident that brownfields
redevelopment has become a mainstream real estate trend," said ECS'
Hallenbeck. "Overall, communities and developers appear more comfortable in
handling the issues involved with brownfields development. The
opportunities appear lucrative for businesses and promise to bring back
prosperity to many communities. States are working hard to make these
things happen."

The ECS Land Reuse Report pinpointed a variety of other trends:

Midwestern, Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states are currently most active
in land reuse, based on on-line search results, with articles found in 36
of the 50 states. The analysis found Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan and
Massachusetts demonstrating the most progressive approaches to brownfields

Mixed-use projects were by far the most common reuse of formerly
contaminated land. Of the 240 sites reviewed, 109 sites (45.4%) have or
will become mixed-use developments consisting of various combinations of
office, retail, cultural, recreational, residential, public and/or some
type of industrial space. The breakdown of the other land uses includes: 53
sites (22.1%) for industrial uses, 18 (7.5%) for offices, 16 (6.7%) for
cultural or recreational uses, 14 (5.8%) for retail, 11 (4.6%) for
residential developments and 19 (7.9%) for other diverse uses, among them
two airports, a fire station, a school, a convention center, and a light
rail station. 

Private developers are making a bigger business out of constructing or
renovating facilities that will eventually be leased or sold. In 183
articles, the project's developer was identified. Private developers worked
on 126 (76%) of those sites. This result contrasts with a 1999 CUED study
of smaller sites that found only 26% of those sites were being worked on by
a private developer. The larger sites that emerged in this media review are
predominantly developer-driven. 

Waterfront property appears especially worthy of redevelopment. At least 62
of the sites reviewed were positioned along a waterway of some sort, which
points to the recognition of the rewards -- both financial and
revitalization of communities -- that accompany waterfront redevelopment
and seem to justify the cost of cleaning up contamination. 

The entity responsible for causing the pollution on a site paid for all or
part of the remediation in only 10 out of the 135 cases. In 125 cases,
non-polluting entities were willing to front cleanup expenses when the
polluter would not or could not pay. 

The public sector seems to extend its involvement beyond a purely
regulatory role in most cases. The public sector has played a critical role
in ushering brownfield properties toward reuse through the funding of

More residents are welcoming land reuse activities in their communities.
One hundred articles reported the reactions of community members to
redevelopment, and it was evident that many people recognized the benefits
of land reuse. Some were thankful that buildings, which had been eyesores
for years, would be removed or renovated. Others appreciated that the
health and safety hazards posed by brownfields sites would be eradicated.
New jobs and enhanced convenience were other reasons for support of projects. 

CUED and its 2800 members represent cities of all sizes, urban counties,
metropolitan regional agencies and public/private partnership
organizations, utility companies, consultants and academics. They all
represent a wide range of knowledge and expertise from real estate
development to small business development, technology transfer and exporting. 

ECS, an XL Capital company, is an underwriting manager providing integrated
environmental risk managementSM solutions to business and industry
worldwide. ECS meets the diverse needs of its customers through insurance,
risk control and claims management. XL Capital Ltd, through its
wholly-owned subsidiaries, including XL Insurance Ltd, XL Mid Ocean
Reinsurance Ltd, XL Capital Products Ltd, The Brockbank Group plc, NAC Re
Corp., XL Specialty Insurance Company, XL Capital Assurance Inc., and ECS,
Inc., provides insurance and reinsurance coverages and financial products
worldwide. As of June 30, 2000, XL had consolidated assets of approximately
$16.1 billion and consolidated shareholders' equity of approximately $5.5
billion. Additional information is available on the XL web site:
www.xl-capital.com or www.ecsinc.com. 

                                 # # #

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