Most people associate the word green with two things, the environment and money. Let’s face it, we’ve been bombarded with the green = environment in nearly every advertisement and/or social media post that has anything to do with environmental issues. However, when it comes to real estate development, environmental conditions are often associated with negative financial impacts and can make an otherwise attractive “green project” appear to be awash with “red”.
What Makes a Green Project Green?
The term “Brownfield” often conjures up the image of decrepit industrial buildings located on vacant parcels that are strewn with debris and hazardous waste. However, brownfield projects come in all shapes and sizes including sites many of us would not consider to be a brownfield at all. For the savvy developer these projects may represent one of the “greenest” opportunities of all, a true Green Project. In addition, the “perceived” environmental conditions associated with these sites are often determined to be more perception than reality once a modest level of due diligence has been performed.
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Green Project Funds Are Available
In the State of Wisconsin, there is a program specifically designed to assist with the management of environmental issues associated with brownfield re-development. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Brownfield Grant program can award a maximum of $500,000 to individual sites showing a need for assistance. It should be noted that the WEDC funding is truly a grant and is not a loan, which adds even more incentive for the redevelopment of underutilized and blighted properties. The key to securing these competitive grants is to understand the nuances of the program while leveraging the unique aspects of the project to maximize the level of funding.
Guest Post – Chris Valcheff, True North
True North has extensive experience working within the framework of the WEDC Brownfield Grant program and securing maximum grant awards for our Clients. Our experience and knowledge of the program has allowed True North to secure grants totaling over $2.5M for our Clients over the past 4 years. For more information on how True North can help you make your project a bit greener, please contact Chris Valcheff at 608-577-8315 or check out our website at www.consulttruenorth.com.