The Legacy of Contamination and the Redevelopment of Inner-City Industrial Districts

Marie Howland (2002)

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This study examines the role that land contamination plays in hindering central city redevelopment. We tracked all sales, the selling price, existence of contamination, location, and length of time on the market in one industrial area of approximately 5,580 acres in Southwest Baltimore. The results indicate that after the mid 1990s, contaminated parcels are selling and the market has adjusted to contamination by lowering sales prices. Over the decade 45 parcels with either confirmed or historical reasons to suspect contamination sold. Interviews with owners and brokers of the parcels on the market for two years or more indicate that outdated parcel sizes, inadequate roads for modern truck access, outdated and aging infrastructure, incompatible land uses, and high asking prices are the most significant barriers to the redevelopment of industrial central city districts.