Energy, Infrastructure & Environment

Brownfield Development

For clients who see value in brownfields, we assist in the purchase, sale, and redevelopment of suspected or known environmentally impacted real estate while minimizing the risk to be borne by our clients. Our services include assistance in financing, the creation of Qualified Settlement Funds and trusts to manage liabilities, the negotiation of environmental liability insurance, and the navigation of contaminated properties through federal and state cleanup programs.


  • Private party redevelopment of brownfields. We represent real estate developers in the purchase, investigation, cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties. Our work includes negotiating deal terms and environmental insurance policies to transfer risk, as well as efforts to obtain necessary approvals and environmental case closure designations from governmental agencies.
  • Municipal redevelopment of brownfields. We represent municipalities in evaluating, marketing and developing brownfields, either alone or by entering into joint agreements with, or sales to, private developers.
  • TIF District creation. We assist municipalities in developing appropriate funding, such as Environmental TIF Districts, for brownfield redevelopment.
  • Funding. We assist clients in obtaining substantial federal, state and municipal grants and loans for the environmental investigation and cleanup of brownfield sites.

High-Profile Representations

  • Assisted multiple clients obtain governmental exemptions to build on historic waste disposal sites, including negotiations on appropriate sampling protocols, engineering controls and monitoring programs. Redeveloped sites have included large retail complexes, residential condominiums, automobile dealer showrooms and service centers, and recreational parks, including baseball diamonds, bike paths and rowing clubs.
  • Obtained $750,000 Brownfields award from State of Wisconsin for client to redevelop historic industrial site (leather tanning, automotive repair, etc.). Assisted client through investigation, cleanup and negotiations with redevelopment partner, resulting in residential, office and retail development.
  • Obtained all state approvals to allow client to redevelop existing building and construct new parking lot on former coal ash fill site, including the use of an innovative construction technique incorporating fly ash into the parking surface.
  • Represented the purchaser of a 200+ acre former oil refinery in Colorado impacted with petroleum, chlorinated solvents, and asbestos. Negotiated and drafted deal terms; reciprocal access, rail, and drainage easement agreements; building, land, rail, and above ground storage tank leases; and pollution legal liability insurance. Represented the developer in negotiations with the state regarding site remediation.
  • Represented the purchaser of multiple former manufacturing facilities slated for residential and industrial redevelopment, including sites subject to New Jersey landfill and industrial site transfer and remediation requirements. Negotiated pollution legal liability insurance coverage for all sites and represented the purchaser in subsequent redevelopment and sale of the properties.
  • Represented municipal client in the first ever use of Wisconsin’s “Voluntary Party Liability Exemption.” The project involved a highly contaminated former manufacturing site which was addressed by a complex blend of public and private funding. The project led to the creation of over 1000 jobs and is credited with paving the way for subsequent successful brownfield projects in Wisconsin.
  • Represented a Midwest municipality in the redevelopment of former industrial riverfront property (including a former manufactured gas plant) into a riverfront mixed-use pedestrian and event-oriented-development.
  • Represented a large multi-national retailer on many urban brownfield redevelopments for retail use across the Midwest.
  • Assisted a large multi-national retailer to redevelop a former wood treating creosote facility into a big-box retail store.
  • Assisted municipalities in creation of Environmental TIF Districts to assist in redevelopment of contaminated properties.
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