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WASHINGTON, DC-A survey conducted at the Contaminated Property Transactions Conference, sponsored by the Risk Management Technologies and held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel here, has found that the number of corporations and municipalities actively pursuing redevelopment and divestment of brownfield sites has grown significantly over the past year or so. Perhaps more significantly, the survey also found that the valuations of these projects are increasing as well.

Environmental Data Resources Inc., a provider of environmental risk information based in Milford, CT, queried the more than 200 environmental consultants, environmental attorneys and bankers that attended the conference. Executives from such firms as British Petroleum, Shell Lubricants, Marsh, Abbott Laboratories and Honeywell were present.

Jon Walker, managing director of corporate, legal and government services for EDR, tells GlobeSt.com the prevailing sentiment of the survey and its anecdotal feedback is that not only has work on brownfields increased over the past year, but it is a trend that respondents believe will continue to grow. A major driver, survey participants said, is the growing realization of the financial incentives these redevelopments offer.

Seventy-six percent of respondents attributed the increase in brownfield activity to an increased return on investments relating to the remediation of these sites. “Many of these properties are in the middle of major cities where the business opportunities are already significant,” Walker explains.

Other reasons for the increased interest in these developments include a growing comfort level on the part of banks and financiers and the availability of new tools, from insurance and risk management to environmental technology, that can buffer such investments. Then there the growing corporate awareness of such environmental issues, Walker says. “Developers want to do what is right for these communities besides just making a profit,” he says.

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