Brownfield Redevelopment

Pullman & Comley, LLC is the “go to” firm for brownfield redevelopment in Connecticut.  We understand it, we helped write the laws that govern it, and we help clients put the redevelopment of brownfields into practice.  Our attorneys represent buyers and sellers of contaminated property, helping to structure financing, permitting, remediation and insurance coverage in order to return unused or underused contaminated property to useful new life.  Our brownfield clients are property owners, major developers, private equity and venture capital firms, and municipalities or municipal economic development agencies, eager to turn environmentally distressed properties into vibrant business, residential and mixed-use communities.

The attorneys in our Environmental Law practice generally take the lead in brownfield projects, with the active help of our Real Estate and Public Finance practices.  Our environmental attorneys most involved in brownfield redevelopment are Lee Hoffman, Gary O’Connor, Diane Whitney, chair of the Environmental Law Department, and Christopher McCormack.  The Public Finance attorneys with experience in the unique financing structures for this kind of development are John Stafstrom, Marie Phelan and Michael Andreana.  Members of our Real Estate practice working on brownfield matters include Geoffrey Fay, Andrew Glickson, and John Kindl, as well as Gary O’Connor. 

Both Lee Hoffman and Gary O’Connor have been instrumental in brownfield working groups in Connecticut.  Gary served as co-chair and Lee as a member of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Brownfields Task Force, which wrote the legislation that brought significant changes to the state’s brownfield program.  Lee has been a member of the planning committee for the last three national brownfields conferences sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has spoken at the last four conferences.  He currently serves on Windsor’s Redevelopment Authority.  Gary served as co-chair of Governor Malloy’s Transition Team for environmental matters and continues to assist the Governor’s office in creating a comprehensive brownfield initiative in the state.  As Legislative Liaison for the Environmental Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, Chris McCormack has worked with Brownfields Task Force members and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) staff in drafting proposed brownfields legislation.

Representative Experience

  • Great Pond Village, Windsor. The project is a new urbanist mixed-use development on a river-front site of almost 700 acres, contaminated after decades of industrial use.  It is nearing the end of its permitting process and construction is due to begin in the spring of 2012. Diane Whitney has handled all of the permitting for the project and Marie Phelan has handled all the financing work, which includes drafting legislation to allow the creation of a special taxing district to issue bonds secured by special assessments and tax increments paid to the district by the town of Windsor.
  • Gilbert & Bennett Site, Redding. Lee Hoffman represented the town of Redding and negotiated a three-way tax-increment financing arrangement between the town, the Connecticut Development Authority and the developer of a heavily-contaminated site planned for mixed-use development. Diane Whitney represented the town's planning and zoning commission in its approval of the project's master plan.
  • Harbor Point, Stamford. Lee Hoffman, John Stafstrom and Michael Andreana were involved in the creation of the Harbor Point Infrastructure Improvement District, pursuant to special legislation drafted by John Stafstrom. John and Mike represented the District in connection with its issuance of $145 million of special assessment bonds backed by a tax increment from the city of Stamford and Recovery Zone Economic Development bonds to finance the infrastructure for the redevelopment of Harbor Point. The project includes approximately six million square feet of mixed-use development.
  • Norden Place, Norwalk. Lee Hoffman represented the developer of this former industrial site, planned to be redeveloped for market-rate apartments, and negotiated a site-specific, risk-based remediation standard with the Connecticut DEEP, which allowed the development to go forward.
  • Cornerstone Realty. Gary O'Connor represents Cornerstone, a real estate development company, in its acquisition of contaminated industrial real estate for redevelopment, including work on the transactions, financing, remediation and redevelopment of the sites.
  • Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation. Gary O'Connor provides environmental and regulatory representation to the NEDC in connection with the remediation and redevelopment of former rubber and chemical manufacturing sites, including approximately 60 acres along the Naugatuck River, which will be a mixed-use development at a cost of over $500 million.
  • Naugatuck Valley Development Corporation, Waterbury. Gary O'Connor represents this agency in connection with the acquisition, remediation and development of an arts magnet school, a branch of the University of Connecticut, parking garages and streetscapes, and the restoration and expansion of a 3,000 seat historic theater. The work includes acquisition of some sites through eminent domain and the negotiation of funding from public entities, including the University of Connecticut, Office of Policy and Management and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
  • Waterbury Development Corporation, Waterbury. Gary O'Connor represents the city of Waterbury in connection with the construction of a $500 million school construction and expansion program, which includes the remediation of brownfield sites, the acquisition of numerous parcels of land, and negotiations with state and federal environmental agencies.
  • Town of Plainville.  Marie Phelan represented the town in connection with the issuance of tax increment financing bonds to finance Connecticut Commons at Plainville, a retail shopping center.
  • Old Town Hall, Stamford. Michael Andreana represented the city of Stamford in its financing for the renovation of the Old Town Hall located in downtown Stamford.  The transaction used new market and historic rehabilitation tax credit proceeds to fund the gap between city and state grant funds and the cost of the project. The renovated building includes both office and public space.
  • Waterside School, Stamford. Michael Andreana represented the school in connection with a new market tax credit financing that provided the final necessary funds for the construction of a new school facility within the Harbor Point District in the south end of Stamford. Waterside School is an independent day school serving disadvantaged children located in the Stamford area.
  • Steel Pointe, Bridgeport.  John F. Stafstrom represents the City of Bridgeport as bond and financing counsel in connection with the Steel Pointe project inBridgeport. The project envisions taking a 50-acre brownfield site on Bridgeport Harbor and turning it into a $600-$700 million mixed use project supported by up to $190 million of tax incremental financing. John drafted the special legislation permitting the issuance of the bonds and he is representing the City in negotiations with the developer.

Case Studies