Developing Brownfield Sites is a Good Community Investment
Brownfield development projects like Miller’s Landing in Castle Rock, CO, provide many benefits to the communities where they are located. While it can be expensive to remediate and redevelop the land, a report from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) released in 2015, shows that it’s a good investment for the community.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “a brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.”
The NBER report, titled “The Value of Brownfield Remediation,” states that in the vast majority of the brownfield cleanup sites in the U.S., “total economic benefits exceed cleanup costs by an order of magnitude.” In other words, cleaning up and redeveloping brownfield sites is money well spent.
That’s certainly the case with Miller’s Landing. For the past two years P3 Advisors LLC has been working in partnership with the Town of Castle Rock, CO, to remediate and redevelop the Miller’s Landing site.
From Blight to a Vibrant Community
P3 Advisors formed a public-private partnership with the Town a few years ago to clean up and redevelop the formerly blighted land. The site was the location of an abandoned municipal landfill. Despite its desirable location near downtown and I-25, it sat vacant and unused for 40 years.
Thanks to the partnership, a vibrant town center that includes retail and entertainment options, a modern office park, a resort hotel and spa, conference and meeting space, and large tracts of open space will soon occupy the property. Miller’s Landing will attract much-needed businesses to town, and the jobs that come with them.
P3 Advisors specializes in developing complex brownfield and mixed-use projects. The company is based in Castle Rock.
The cost to remove the landfill and complete a comprehensive clean-up on the site cost $9 million, with many more millions left to be spent on public improvement and traffic improvement projects. It’s important to note that remediation and development costs will be paid by bonds issued by Miller’s Landing. The town did not have to commit any public funds to the project.
According to the EPA, brownfield redevelopment can increase the value of nearby residential properties from 5 percent to 15.2 percent and increase local tax revenue by attracting new businesses and creating new job opportunities. The US Conference of Mayors agrees. In a 2010 survey, 85 percent of the 150 cities surveyed said their local tax bases would grow if the brownfield sites in their communities were redeveloped.
Miller’s Landing is located in the Plum Creek Interchange District, one of four interchange districts in town. The Town of Castle Rock created the interchange districts in 2008 to take advantage of the approximately 90,000 to 100,000 vehicles that travel through Castle Rock on I-25 daily. The districts are part of the Town’s 2020 Comprehensive Master Plan.
Each district is zoned to encourage well-planned development to help the community grow its economic base and support the high quality of life in Castle Rock.
By working closely with the Town and community, we’ve identified several important gaps in the local economy and community Miller’s Landing will address. These include:
- Developing a full-service conference center and hotel to host weddings, business events and social affairs.
- Attracting businesses that will provide quality local job opportunities for residents. Pre-COVID, more than 80 percent of Castle Rock residents commuted out of town for work, which results in increased traffic and congestion. Commuters also spend a considerable amount of money outside of town when at work. Local jobs will decrease commuter traffic and keep money in the local economy.
Join the Conversation
From the start we’ve actively sought public engagement in the project. To communicate with our community stakeholders, we’ve created a public engagement web site at www.mlinput.com.
If you’re not already involved in the conversation, we invite you to join. We welcome your comments and input and are committed to continuing our involvement with the Town and local residents. Join us!