They are the vacant lots we drive by daily, the piles of polluted dirt behind rusting chain link fences, the abandoned storefronts blighting our main streets.
Brownfield renewal: Smarter strategies to use right now
Friday, March 24
Noon to 1:30 p.m. (Doors at 11:30 a.m.)
OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building, Room 2S060
2730 SW Moody Ave., Portland
- Mary Hashem, co-founder and principal, RE | Solutions, Denver
- Dave Stebbins, vice president, Buffalo Urban Development Corporation
- Martin Doster, COO and senior environmental advisor of Buffalo-based Lippes Mathias Wexler LLP
Free event, but registration recommended.
Directions and more
Brownfields are holding Oregon back. And with major burdens preventing their redevelopment, communities need every tool they can get to give them new life.
But Oregon doesn't have the same tools as other places to turn these polluted properties into places to work, live and recreate.
From New York to Colorado, partnerships and investments across the public, private and nonprofit sectors are making a difference, turning pollution into possibility in cities that urgently need it.
On Friday, March 24, three veterans of brownfield redevelopment in Buffalo and Denver will speak in Portland’s South Waterfront – itself a former brownfield site now redeveloped into a multimillion dollar medical research campus, with growing residential, employment and recreational possibilities close by.
Panelists hail from Buffalo, Denver
This robust panel discussion will explore real challenges facing would-be brownfield developers, and strategies that communities across the country are using to overcome those challenges.
In Denver, a polluted 77-acre smelter site will become nearly 1 million square feet of Class A industrial warehouse space near a major freeway interchange, just north of downtown. And in West Denver, brownfield remediation is making redevelopment possible for a 19-acre former hospital site, becoming seven city blocks for housing, retail, office, entertainment and open space.
The private firm RE | Solutions has had a hand in both these projects and many more around the country. RE | Solutions co-founder Mary Hashem will talk about the unique financial challenges of brownfield development from the private sector perspective and share what worked to get these and other projects moving so that polluted sites could become community assets.
More than 1,500 miles away, Buffalo is breathing new life into its industrial job market with major brownfield remediation like the transformational Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park, which reclaimed 105 acres of polluted land – the former site of a steel factory -- on Lake Erie into sites for thousands of industrial jobs, along with unique parks and natural areas for the community to use.
Leading the way on transformation projects like these has been the nonprofit Buffalo Urban Development Corporation. The organization’s vice president, Dave Stebbins, will be on hand along with Martin Doster, former regional engineer for the New York State Division of Environmental Remediation and now COO and environmental advisor for a large Buffalo-based law firm, to share how governments and nonprofits have worked with the private sector for success in the Queen City.
Success has been tangible for sites like these in Colorado and New York. But those states have brownfield cleanup tools that Oregon doesn’t (yet). What would it take to bring their successful strategies here? Find out in this special event.