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. We also represent municipalities and municipal economic development agencies, that are eager to turn environmentally distressed properties into vibrant businesses, residential developments, mixed-use communities or for public purposes such as schools or parks.
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, and Diane Whitney. 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 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 several national brownfields conferences sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has spoken at the last six conferences. He currently serves as the secretary for 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.
Pullman & Comley’s attorneys have a wide variety of experience throughout the brownfields sector. Below is a listing of a few of the projects that our attorneys have been involved with.
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.
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.
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.
Collins Mill, East Windsor. Lee Hoffman represents the Town of East Windsor in connection with the redevelopment of a historic mill building that was used for the operations of the largest employer in the town, and then for several Fortune 500 companies. Lee has been advising the Town on finding potential redevelopment partners for the property as well as negotiating with the current property owners to ensure proper remediation of the site.
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.
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.
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, and Michael Andreana was involved in the development of a special tax district for the project.
News & Insights
- Zoom Webinar, 06.15.2021
- UConn’s Connecticut Brownfields Initiative to Provide Support to Municipal Entities and Others Who Are Seeking EPA Brownfield Assessment and Cleanup Grants06.18.2021
- The Connecticut General Assembly Puts the First Nail in the Transfer Act’s Coffin: Connecticut to Adopt New Release-Based Remediation Program, but There is Still Much Work to be Done10.04.2020
- EPA Announces Policy of Enforcement Discretion for Compliance with Pollution Control Requirements Affected by COVID-19 Outbreak04.03.2020
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Announces New Temporary Enforcement Policy During COVID-19 Outbreak03.30.2020
- 2020 Environmental Legislative Update No. 2: “Be Careful What You Wish For” - The End of the Transfer Act?03.02.2020
For more information on some of the activities our attorneys have been engaged in, please click on the following links:
Pullman & Comley attorneys, in coordination with the State Brownfield Working Group, the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Office of Policy Management and the Commerce Committee of the general Assembly, were instrumental in the creation of a new law that provides greater flexibility and incentives to municipalities for cleaning and redeveloping contaminated sites.
Pullman & Comley has taken the lead in proposing innovative legislation to form a state-certified brownfield land bank that creates a valuable new tool for municipalities seeking to remediate and redevelop brownfield sites.
Pullman & Comley, continues to be a leader on brownfield development, closing deals that change non-productive property into commercially developed land that benefits entire communities. For years, several of our attorneys have been working on various aspects of a large brownfield site located in Waterbury,Connecticut, commonly known as WIC (Waterbury Industrial Commons).