As a city, how do I engage private developers in brownfields redevelopment in this economy?– Monica P., city redevelopment planner
First, the city will need to determine the type of development desired – commercial, retail, housing, industrial, residential or mixed-use. Within each category, there are also those who specialize by location and market type. The city can market their interest through various forums, such as their website, business associations and newspapers.
Second, the city should identify the locations where they would want development and collect information that is useful to a developer. Apart from baseline environmental information, the city can collect information on demographics, infrastructure, market analysis and financing assistance.
Third, the city can offer assistance on various levels to facilitate the analysis and development of a brownfields project. In addition to common tools used by cities, such as convening meetings with property owners and neighbors, assistance in obtaining grants and financing, assistance with project entitlement, the city can build partnerships with regulatory agencies, conduct exploratory brownfields assessments, or conduct more detailed assessments on sites that have been identified for redevelopment. The next step would be for the city to acquire strategic sites for redevelopment.
There is a range of activities that a city can take to demonstrate their commitment to brownfields redevelopment. Showing this commitment is another key step in attracting developers.