Developing Contaminated and Blighted Properties – The Seminar Group

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Our very own Ryan Bixby, LG served as a Program Co-Chair for this seminar which was put on by The Seminar Group and sponsored by Northwest Resource Law PLLC and SoundEarth Strategies, Inc. This program focused on the real estate market in Seattle and how there has been such an increase in demand that properties previously deemed as upside down, or experiencing negative equity, are now in a perfect position to be developed as property prices continue to rise. 

Ryan helped kick-off the event by contributing to the introduction and overview, and later giving a more in-depth presentation about Evolving Stormwater Discharge Requirements in King County and Their Impact on Redevelopment. The other topics of the day were related to Construction, Finance, Environmental, Government, Insurance, Investment, Land Use, Professional Liability, Toxic Waste, and Waste Water—all of which were presented by attorneys, other consultants, and members of regulatory institutions.

The overall agenda included presentations laying the foundation for the entire seminar (pun intended) by giving background on historical and current environmental issues that have and still do affect property redevelopment. The next wave of presentations spent time focusing on regional issues which were more specifically geared towards developers working on properties in the Shipping Canal and in South Lake Union. These issues include regulatory changes and broad liabilities that future owners of properties could face. The seminar sought to propose potential alternative solutions in an effort to reduce the aforementioned liabilities while also “outlin[ing] how imposed restrictions on construction and other dewatering discharges to sanitary sewers may significantly impact redevelopment costs.” The final topic for the day focused on the relationship between the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Pollution Liability Insurance Agency: how it has transformed over time and how the changes arising from it might affect schedules and even outcomes of regulatory closures.

For a more detailed agenda and list of credits, please follow this link.