Colorado Offers Loans for Land Remediation
To assist with the remediation of brownfield sites in Colorado, the state has partnered with several local government entities and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) to create the Colorado Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (CBRLF). The fund facilitates remediation or reuse of environmentally contaminated land by providing funds for clean-up.
The loans are part of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Brownfield and Voluntary Clean-Up programs. For eligible applicants, the CBRLF provides loans with favorable terms and lows rates for the remediation of environmentally compromised commercial land in the state. The fund can also provide loans for residential or industrial redevelopment as well.
The loan fund is managed by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.
The State of Colorado defines a brownfield site as, “Idled, abandoned, or under-utilized properties where redevelopment may be complicated by the presence or perceived presence of contamination.”
Brownfields incentives, such as loans available through the CBRLF, can help provide funding and liability management tools to assist redevelopment of contaminated properties and make projects economically competitive.
Cleaning Under-Used Land
The loan fund provides financing to help pay for the cleanup and remediation of unused or under-used contaminated properties. CBRLF loans offer:
- Reduced interest rates
- Flexible loan terms
- Flexible collateral terms
Colorado also offers a Brownfields Cleanup Grant Program that provides grants up to $250,000 annually to remediate contaminated land. The grant program is available in instances where no federal or state programs exist to accomplish the cleanup.
To qualify, recipients must meet one of the following criteria:
- Be a non-federal government entity such as a municipality or county
- Not-for-profit entity
- Watershed or other community organization
- Formal support of one of the above and provide a clear public benefit and/or economic benefit
Financing Beneficial Projects
According to Doug Jamison from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the program provides much-needed financing in the state for brownfield redevelopment projects.
“The loan program is designed to help remediate land that might otherwise go unused,” he said. “The CBRLF was capitalized with grants provided by the Environmental Protection Agency and offers low rates and flexible terms, usually with five-year terms.”
Preferential assistance is provided to land redevelopment plans that provide public benefits such as job creation, enhancement to the local tax base and/or the creation of a public amenity. To qualify, cleanup plans must have previous approval under the CDPHE Voluntary Cleanup Program.
Unlike many brownfield incentive programs that are only available to local governments and non-profits, the CBRLF provides funding to assist private entities with cleanup activities.
Eligible uses for loan funds include removing, mitigating or preventing the release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants on the site. Building demolition and site preparation activities that are part of the site cleanup are also eligible for funding.
From Blight to Economic Engine
P3 Advisors used funds from the Colorado Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund to help finance the remediation of the Miller’s Landing site in Castle Rock. The brownfield land was the location of a municipal landfill that sat abandoned for nearly 40 years.
Once deemed blighted by the Town of Castle Rock, the land is quickly evolving into a dynamic mixed-use development. It will feature a pedestrian friendly town center that evokes the feeling of a mountain resort town complete with retail, restaurant and entertainment options. The town center is supported by modern offices, a resort hotel and spa and conference and meeting facilities. Miller’s Landing also includes generous amounts of open space in its plans.
“We had a positive experience with the process to secure the Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund proceeds,” said Scott Springer, Managing Director at P3 Advisors. “We were impressed with the business-savvy approach the CDPHE and CHFA take in issuing and administering the loans.”
P3 Advisors created a public private partnership with the Town of Castle Rock to remediate and redevelop the Miller’s Landing site. P3 Advisors specializes in developing complex brownfield and mixed-use projects. The company is based in Castle Rock.
When completed, Miller’s Landing will serve as a major economic engine for the town and provide local jobs and significant tax revenue for the community.
Castle Rock is a growing community in the south Denver metropolitan area. Located on the I-25 corridor, the town offers easy access to Denver and Colorado Springs. Its small-town charm and easy access to big city amenities makes it a popular home town for well-educated professionals.
For More Information
Interested developers, businesses, lenders and municipalities are encouraged to contact the CDPHE or CHFA for more information or to request a loan application.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Brownfields Revolving Loan Program
VCUP Program Coordinator
Brownfields Cleanup Grant Program
Superfund/Brownfields Unit Leader
Colorado Housing and Financing Authority
CHFA Community Development Lending