Opportunity in Distressed Real Estate
Environmental Science and Engineering Partners, LLC (ESE), has been offering unique investment strategies to the real estate market for the past 12 years. This strategy is based on the concept of investing in environmentally distressed properties which can be managed through environmental science and engineering. ESE’s team of Environmental Scientists and Engineers assist their clients by navigating through the complexities of environmental regulations within the financial thresholds of a viable land investment. ESE’s promise is to recognize and deliver opportunity to stakeholders while at the same time improving the community’s quality of life. According to ESE’s President and CEO, Bryan Gay, ESE along with their clients, are making the unusable, usable, Making Brownfields Green.
ESE was founded in 2007 and has been ranked among the top five environmental firms in Houston by the Houston Business Journal. ESE offers a full range of environmental consulting services ranging from Environmental Site Assessments to multi-million dollar brownfields reclamations. Although ESE offers the staple of environmental consulting services that are required across all industry sectors, they are also offering something unique, something outside the box of traditional environmental engineering. In today’s going green movement there is an ever increasing cultural demand on doing what’s right for the environment. In most cases going green comes with a hefty price tag. ESE is taking the going green philosophy one step further and creating assets from perceived liabilities from both the perspective of the community and the balance sheet.
ESE’s is Making Brownfields GreenTM. ESE’s Brownfields practice is the cornerstone of their consultancy. Brownfields are typically associated with government grant programs. The truth is, any environmentally distressed property positioned for redevelopment is considered a brownfields opportunity. ESE has a team of consulting professionals experienced and focused on brownfields redevelopment. They have taken their local, state, and federal brownfields experience and applied that expertise to the ever growing entrepreneurial market of redeveloping blighted properties for alternative end uses. ESE assists their clients with these initiatives by providing program management services which include Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments, budgetary project life-cycle cost model preparation, project strategy and outcome analysis, program enrollment assistance, demolition design and oversight, and regulatory negotiations. ESE has been responsible for the reclamation of former power plants, landfills, oilfields, refineries and a multitude of various other commercial and industrial sites for the purpose of residential and commercial redevelopment. A brief overview of ESE’s experience with brownfields projects is described below.
ESE served as the Project Manager and Engineer for the brownfields reclamation of a former power plant located in Texas. Brownfields reclamation occurred for the purpose of redeveloping the 750 acre site as a master planned mixed use community. The former gas fired power plant consisted of three boiler units, warehouses, office buildings, and surface impoundments. Prior to acquisition of the property, ESE conducted the preliminary environmental due diligence and feasibility studies for asbestos abatement, demolition, and environmental corrective actions. Upon completion of feasibility and the acquisition of the property, ESE implemented the actions necessary to complete the reclamation of the Site. ESE provided full time on-site construction management of all asbestos abatement and demolition activities for the removal of the three boiler units and all structures. ESE was also responsible for managing the project schedule and budget and delivering verbal reports to the City Engineer and City Council. In addition to the demolition and abatement activities, ESE also conducted all of the necessary site assessment and remediation of soil, groundwater, and surface water. ESE delivered the power plant to the client as vacant land ready for redevelopment within 15 months. The project was designed in such a way that revenue generated from the steel salvaged during the demolition of the boilers, off-set a majority of the environmental reclamation cost. At the end of the day the project has created a new eco-friendly master planned community and a new tax revenue for the city.
ESE is also responsible for designing the assessment and closure strategy for an approximately 30 acre industrial facility which has operated since the late 1800’s. ESE designed a detailed assessment strategy, in order to identify, characterize, and delineate soil and groundwater impacts at the site. Additionally, ESE developed a closure strategy focusing on TCEQ closure through the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) to residential standards. Recent and historic uses of the subject property included tank fabrication, pipe fitting, heavy equipment maintenance, oilfield support services, and cotton seed oil processing. The assessment strategy implemented by ESE resulted in completion of assessment scopes within the projected budget and approximately 2 months ahead of schedule. The goal of this project is to redevelop the 100 year old industrial facility into a mixed use master planned community.
ESE has also assisted clients with the redevelopment of former oil and gas exploration and production fields by applying the same methods and practices describe above. ESE has completed the reclamation of an oilfield in south Houston. The property was acquired by a foreign investor in the mid 1980’s and was never developed due to the environmental liabilities associated with the Site. ESE developed a feasibility study and closure strategy that met the financial limitations associated with the redevelopment of the Site. ESE’s reclamation strategy allowed for the regulatory closure and redevelopment of the Site within 2 years, after the property set idle for over 20 years. The property is currently developed as a new business park with 100% tenant occupancy.
In conclusion, ESE is offering unique services to the real estate community by identifying opportunities hidden behind perceived environmental liabilities through their expertise in environmental science and engineering. If you would like to learn more about ESE’s distressed real estate redevelopment services please call 281-501-6100, or visit them on the web at www.esepartners.com.