Triangle J Regional Brownfields Program

Brownfields as an Economic Driver

Did you know that there are over 500 brownfield sites located in North Carolina prohibiting communities of all sizes from developing on valuable pieces of property?

Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or underused industrial and commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. Brownfields are often assumed to be blighted, abandoned properties, however they can also be underutilized commercial buildings with little or no contamination such as former service stations or warehouses.

The redevelopment of brownfields is critical to economic development, serving as a revitalization tool, catalyst for economic growth and job creation, and community vitality builder. The process, spanning from assessment and cleanup followed by development, may be long and at times strenuous. TJCOG’s Brownfield Consortium aims to lessen some of the burden for communities who are struggling to dedicate staff time and expertise to manage
the complex topic. 

Brownfields Consortium

About the Brownfields Consortium

Triangle J administers and facilitates a regional Brownfields Consortium to assist our municipalities and better leverage brownfield redevelopment as an economic tool for community revitalization. It is no surprise that the assessment, cleanup, and development processes that make up brownfield redevelopment takes a lengthy and strenuous path, but the rewards help build economic vitality, create jobs and support new businesses, and spur other opportunities for community revitalization. TJCOG’s regional Brownfield Consortium aims to lessen some of the burden for communities who are struggling to dedicate staff time and expertise to manage the complex topic.

The Consortium’s mission is to empower communities and developers to sustainably invest in brownfield sites, coordinate a development strategy that aligns with additional funding sources/programs, and turn education and planning support into action with the necessary tools to help steer progression. 

Successful grant applications help move identified properties towards redevelopment by conducting environmental site assessments and identifying/removing the environmental risk and uncertainty associated with the property. These grants provide financial support for activities on properties where the current owner or prospective purchaser may be unable to perform the assessments or remediation independently. Selected sites may not have environmental contamination, but are hindered by a perception of contamination.

Value to TJCOG's Brownfields Consortium members through access to:

  • Membership in TJCOG's Brownfields Assessment Program
  • Transformative redevelopment tools
  • Taking sites from assessment to development
  • Identification of site inventory
  • Site and community-relevant data (development ready)
  • Grant writing (community and/or region focused)
  • Assistance with stakeholder outreach
  • Educational sessions
  • Toolkit of best practices and case studies to build your brownfields redevelopment strategy
  • Redevelopment strategies through an equity lens
  • Support from regional peers and additional program capacity through TJCOG staff
  • Resource-driven, one-stop shop providing the intersection between economic development and planning disciplines

Brownfields Consortium Successes to Date

Since its launch in July 2019, the Brownfields Consortium, Consortium members, and dedicated TJCOG staff have worked together to accomplish the following successes:

  • Submitted EPA Brownfields Coalition Grant Applications on behalf of three consortium communities
  • Presented to Town Councils on brownfields redevelopment and benefits, including federal and state funding opportunities
  • Hosted trainings on community and property owner engagement, and leveraging funding sources with state and federal partners
  • Created a “How to Talk about Brownfields” one-pager for property owner engagement
  • Created a database of confirmed and potential brownfields sites in consortium communities, targeted at downtown districts and priority areas for local governments, and sites competitive by federal and state funding standards
  • Developed a prioritization strategy for brownfields sites to help communities identify focuses
  • Provided no-cost trainings on development for consortium member communities (Small Scale Development Workshop and Infill Development Workshop)
  • Built out a database of confirmed, potential, and priority brownfields sites in member communities
  • Created a toolkit of best practices for members that will help them build a brownfields redevelopment strategy and implement in their communities

Becoming a Member of the Brownfields Consortium

Through capacity building, intentional annual work plans, and regional, statewide, and national networks, TJCOG is able to provide all of the abovementioned services to help strengthen your local economy and alleviate some of the stressors that come with such an in-depth, detailed planning process. Momentum is high as we enter into FY 2022.

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more about the Consortium's  2021-2022 WORK PLAN.

Brownfields Redevelopment Toolkit

The Brownfields Redevelopment Toolkit was developed in partnership with the Triangle J Brownfields Consortium and its member communities - Fuquay-Varina, Wake Forest, and Wendell. The toolkit is geared toward municipalities looking to cleanup and redevelop publicly-owned brownfields sites, as well as encourage the redevelopment of privately-owned properties. The information provided can help both municipal and non-municipal organizations gain insight into the brownfields redevelopment process. The toolkit was created in ArcGIS StoryMaps. 

Interested in brownfields redevelopment? Visit the  BROWNFIELDS REDEVELOPMENT TOOLKIT.