Austin Brownfields Revitalization Office transforms contaminated land.
Brownfields are abandoned, idle or underutilized properties where revitalization is hindered by real or perceived environmental contamination. Today there are hundreds of identified brownfields in East Austin, a result of the 1928 Koch and Fowler City Plan which included weak zoning restrictions in the East Austin district. These weak restrictions allowed industrial facilities such as power plants, fuel tank farms and cement plants, to operate throughout the district.
Brownfields Revitalization funds can be loaned to a public or private entity or groups developing or redeveloping property that will provide a public benefit (E.g.: will provide local jobs or meet a community need). The terms will be very favorable and flexible and the loans will be available as early as December 2016.
“We are honored to be selected for this highly competitive grant and are excited about this opportunity! This new funding source can be used to clean up contaminated properties so they can be redeveloped into parks, playgrounds, affordable housing and many other community projects,” said Bob Gedert, Director, Austin Resource Recovery.
This grant money will allow Austin Brownfields Revitalization Office to provide loans that most banks would not and to provide gap funding until the cleanup is over. Because these loans are interest only payments until the cleanup is completed, borrowers can be up and running before repayment of the principal is needed. Also, it will be easier to go to banks for a traditional loan once any environmental issues are resolved.
This revolving loan fund grant means we will now be able to assess properties, clean contamination and remove barriers to community redevelopment. Helping facilitate land recycling is just one way we are responding effectively to the high expectations of our community,” said Christine Whitney, Brownfields Revitalization Office Manager.
Interested property owners or prospective purchasers who have discovered contamination at a site should apply for a brownfields cleanup loan online at AustinTexas.gov/Brownfields or contact Christine Whitney at 512-974-6085
for more information.