Richard Manser on Minnesota Brownfield’s Emerging Developers Workshop

Recently, Richard Manser, Director of Environmental Risk, had the opportunity to take a prominent role in the Emerging Developers Workshop hosted by Minnesota Brownfields.

Minnesota Brownfields is a nonprofit that helps establish connections between the various components required to address environmentally impaired properties (brownfields), including regulatory, financial, legal, planning, development and technical assistance. Richard is on the organization's Board of Directors.

Richard shares details about the event in our Q&A.

What was the audience for this workshop?
The target audience was first time or emerging real estate developers who are involved in a development that includes environmentally impaired property. This cohort of developers are often nonprofits or one-time developers working on a development to expand or house their primary business venture. Many of these developers have not gone through this process before, are overwhelmed about managing the contamination aspect of the project and are not aware of the resources available to support their efforts.

What was your role in this event?
I delivered the introduction to the workshop and served as the moderator for the Brownfield Lending Issues panel discussion. The panel included Meredith Udoiboik from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED), Peter McLaughlin from LISC Twin Cities and Mary Stoick from Sunrise Bank.

MN DEED has a new $5 million Emerging Developer Fund Program, which is administered by LISC. Sunrise is a community-focused bank that caters to the local business community.

Why did you choose to participate?
I am passionate about getting environmentally challenging properties cleaned up so they can be reused which strengthens communities, provides jobs, enhances overall environmental quality and adds to the local tax base.

What did attendees learn at the event?
The resources that are available to help with re-developing environmentally impacted properties. This includes cleanup grants from Ramsey and Hennepin Counties, Metropolitan Council and MN DEED; Minnesota Pollution Control Agency guidance; local legal support and technical assistance from the environmental consulting community. Tables were set up at the end of the workshop for personal introductions and one-on-one discussions with the various resources to discuss specific projects.

What do you think the impact of this event is or will be on the industry?
This session helped clarify the process for active projects and helped set the foundation for future events.


Funding for this program was provided in part by an Opportunity Fund grant from the Opus Foundation®.

Filed Under: Environmental Risk