Written by Larry Dietz, CCIM, Associate Broker at Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate

Environmental issues, as it pertains to investing in real estate, have been a concern for decades now. Certainly, those of us in the commercial real estate business know what the preliminary signs are and are always observant in walking a property for the first time. We are always looking for those indicators that may indicate a potential issue. All investors (and brokers) need to be very aware of these problems.

Recently, in working with a client, I toured a property with them. In doing so, we observed a couple of items that definitively “raised the red flag”. There were large (and apparently recent) spills of an unknown substance both in the warehouse and truck court; large liquid storage containers abandoned in the yard etc. A little more home-work and my client decided they didn’t want to go forward with what was going to be potentially a lengthy, involved and costly process.

I will typically recommend to all my clients, whether Sellers or Purchasers, that they commission a Phase I environmental assessment, particularly with industrial properties. A Phase I is the first step in determining potential problems and whether or not more detailed studies need to be done through a Phase II site assessment. A Seller/Owner needs to know what issues they may be facing in marketing their property and a Purchaser needs to know what liabilities they will be inheriting at the Act of Sale.

The attached offers some insight into these issues, what to look for and how to avoid them.

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Larry Dietz, an associate broker with Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate, has over 30 years of Sales, Marketing and Public Relations experience.  He is a Designee member of the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM) and CCIM Louisiana Chapter; a member of the Commercial Investment Division of the Greater Baton Rouge Board of REALTORS® (CID); as well as an affiliate member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).  He is a licensed real estate broker in Louisiana and Mississippi. 

Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).