meeting to link developers, owners, regulators
innovative incubator session designed to midwife deals by bringing
buyers, sellers and regulatory agencies together will cap the third
annual Florida Brownfields Conference, says Chairman Michael Goldstein.
conference "Working in the Fields: The Business of Growing
Redevelopment in Florida" is scheduled Aug. 21-23 in the
Eden Roc Hotel, he says, and is expected to draw about 250 participants.
focuses on challenges associated with the restoration and reuse of
abandoned or contaminated commercial or industrial properties, known
prior years, the conferences have had a lot to do with learning how
to fix things," says Mr. Goldstein, an environmental lawyer with
Gunster Yoakley & Stewart who has chaired the county's Brownfields
Task Force since its inception three years ago in the wake of the
Florida Legislature's approval of the Brownfields Redevelopment Act.
"Now it's time to execute what we've learned and make deals happen."
Brownfields Database at the conference's website is designed to expedite
deal-making, he says. Sellers private as well as public
can upload information about properties and even add digital pictures
at no cost.
interested in development at brownfields sites can search the database
using several criteria, he says.
a deal-incubator session planned for the conference's final day, Mr.
Goldstein says, regulators at federal, state and local levels, major
lenders and others involved in the nuts and bolts of brownfields development
will be on hand for consultation.
working on the day when we can move from the historical approach of
regulators moving against developers," he says, "to regulators
working hand-in-hand with the community. It's consensus-building versus
Yoder, assistant director of Miami-Dade County's Department of Environmental
Resources Management, says as far as he knows this is the first time
a deal incubator has been tried in Florida.
hoping we will be able to bring together people who have properties
to redevelop with people interested in doing redevelopment,"
he says, "and ultimately have some deals made as a result."
planners, he says, the incubator will provide some much-needed direct
experience with using the Brownfields Program.
it will be a way of focusing attention," Mr. Yoder says, "and
initiating whatever additional research may need to be done.
hope to have some way of tracking informal arrangements made on that
day that later lead to deals so that we can use them to persuade those
in the marketplace that it's not so difficult to do these things.
looking for success stories here."
conference's first two days will take a more conventional approach,
Mr. Goldstein says, with experts from around the country sharing experiences
and addressing such concerns as job creation, legal issues, protocols
to communicate risk to neighborhoods, how to get seed money and taking
advantage of incentive programs.
afternoon of the second day is set aside to identify an action agenda
for the next year, he says. It will incorporate a consensus list of
priorities that can be used before and during the next state legislative
could be become a starting point for next year's conference,"
Mr. Yoder says. "We could start with a look at what we did about
Goldstein says the action agenda will be uploaded to the conference
also hope to upload digital tapes of the break-out and plenary sessions,"
he says. "Some people are skeptical about whether the private
sector will commit. I think we're just beginning to see a rising tide
of brownfields development in this state."
(305)-376-6007 or FLBF2000.org.