dig brown go green


Murphy Varnish Company Logo Bas-Relief, Newark, NJ Former Murphy Varnish Company Building, Newark, NJ Former Industrial Building, 236 South Street, Newark, NJ Partially-Demolished, Former Industrial Building, 236 South Street, Newark, NJ Brownfield Development, 224-242 South Street, Newark, NJ

Properties with colorful pasts and bright futures.

The U.S. Environmental Protection agency (EPA) defines brownfields as "real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant." Official estimates for the number of brownfield sites in the U.S. range from 450,000 to 600,000.

Colorful Pasts
Across the country, in distressed urban centers and rural communities, hundreds of thousands of industrial facilities have been left lying fallow. These properties, known as brownfields, embody the story of America’s 20th century industrial might and bear the mark of that period’s unenlightened environmental practices.

Their closing and subsequent abandonment in the late 20th century culminated in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and the creation of rural ghost towns and urban blight.

Bright Futures
Brownfield sites are typically located at the nexus of important infrastructure, such as railways, highways and waterways. As a result, they possess a latent value that, if unleashed, would spawn urban renewal and contribute to widespread economic revival.

Many brownfield sites have been redeveloped as transit villages, replete with residential units, shopping centers and entertainment facilities. However, brownfields can serve a greater need—a need closer to their original purpose. It is increasingly argued that the highest and best use for strategically-located brownfields is industrial. These sites can be used to house new, sustainable facilities for the production of renewable energy components as well as general goods, bringing jobs and a revived manufacturing sector back to the U.S.

HCI’s Expertise
HCI has worked on hundreds of sites and has reclaimed large and small industrial facilities ranging from gas stations to turn-of-the century paint factories. We have employed innovative investigative and remedial techniques to achieve regulatory compliance and fulfill the terms of property transfer contracts. HCI is adept at working with developers, architects and general contractors to accommodate construction deadlines and building specifications, while fulfilling–and often exceeding–regulatory requirements.