When a Builder or Developer is considering taking a project Green, especially to a LEED level, there are so many possibilities that can come to mind. Often times the shade of green that you choose to go is directly related to the amount of money one would want to spend. Unfortunately.
However, one opportunity that I would like to see Builders and Developers take more advantage of is that of Brownfields. Brownfields are parcels of land that one either knows for a fact has contaminated soil or has reason to believe that there may be contamination there. For example, a mysterious black sludge creeping out of ground.
Ok, that is usually not the case, but let’s take for example something that may be a little more realistic in Houston, close to Downtown. How about a seemingly abandoned warehouse or building. Great location and you can picture either a phenomenal Commercial Building on it, or maybe a Multi-Family Sustainable Development. But there is a little concern. There are barrels dumped on the property, looks like maybe some underground storage tanks.
Sometimes this would push away a Developer or Builder. Dreams shattered. Let’s move on, find another property. Testing and Clean Up can be costly.
Well, Redeveloping property as an Urban Infill is a great GREEN thing to do. As a matter of fact, Brownfields development can get you up to 3 LEED Points. That could be the difference between LEED Silver or Gold. If cost is the only deterrent, the City Of Houston wants to help you. Actually, they not only want to help you, they want to pay you.
The City of Houston is willing to PAY for the Phase 1 and Phase 2 testing, and cough up up to $100,000 in clean up. What a phenomenal opportunity!
Are you afraid that people will not want anything to do with the property afterwards? Not true. In fact, I have been in one of Houston’s largest Brownfields countless numbers of times. It’s a place I go to have fun, take the kids, spend the day. The times I have been there, so have Thousands of others.
I’m referring to Minute Maid Park-Home of our Houston Astros!
This is just part one of a series. Soon to follow is an interview with the City on how they are looking for partners to Green up Houston, Brownfields success stories in town and potential opportunities for anyone that feels this may be something of interest. Stick around, subscribe…this will be a fun series.