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New Push To Develop Contaminated Properties Along Bay Area Shorelines

OAKLAND (KCBS) -- The Bay Area is home to some prime real estate along miles of shoreline, and there is a new push to develop land despite potential environmental problems due to contamination.

John Coleman of the Bay Planning Coalition says there's plenty of shoreline property here in the Bay Area that has been neglected by developers because of environmental contamination.

Companies often have problems securing loans to develop the land, but Coleman says developing on those plots can create opportunities.

"It's really an opportunity to create jobs; it's an opportunity to create new business lines on that land, and also could be where you want to create new wetlands and new parks," Coleman said.

It doesn't have to be a deal breaker, says Jim Vetter of Marsh USA, a risk management and insurance brokerage firm.

"Being able to go into previously contaminated properties is a fabulous financial opportunity both people who are selling, as well as the people who are going to buy and redevelop and the environmental insurance we do is basically a way to bridge that gap," Marsh said.

He says public and private entities just need to be educated about the resources available to them, namely insurance that addresses environmental risks.

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