Brownfields draw more attention as industrial development options dwindle

The city of Waterbury and state have poured more than $5 million into cleaning and preparing the property for reuse, much of it going into demolition of crumbling buildings. An additional $4 million in state brownfield grants has been earmarked for continued cleanup. The city issued a request for proposals April 11, seeking a user or developer to buy or lease the property. Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary said he believes the state’s hot industrial market, coupled with tight statewide inventory, will draw more investor interest to brownfield sites like Anamet. The shrinking number of industrial development sites left throughout the Northeast is further exacerbated by the growing reluctance of some communities to allow further warehouse development, Roberts noted. But brownfield remediation costs are so high, they typically must be borne by someone other than the developer or end user to make a project feasible, Roberts said. That hasn’t changed.

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