SOURCE: Tew Cardenas

June 23, 2006 12:58 ET

Brownfield Legislation Signed by Florida Governor Jeb Bush Expected to Ease State's Affordable Housing Crisis and Promote Smart Growth

TALLAHASSEE, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 23, 2006 -- The law firm of Tew Cardenas reports the new brownfield legislation signed by Governor Jeb Bush yesterday should be a boon to Florida's economy and will provide a much needed solution to the state's affordable housing crisis.

Florida is now the only state that provides specific incentives for redeveloping brownfields into affordable housing. The legislation also places Florida first in the nation in terms of the amount of corporate income tax credits available for brownfield redevelopment. Under the new program, developers who incur costs while cleaning up a site can recover as much as $1 million in tax credits during the final year of cleanup, with additional perks for redevelopment that results in affordable housing.

"With housing costs on the rise and land increasingly scarce in metropolitan areas, this new legislation could mean much needed relief for many communities throughout Florida," said Teri Donaldson, lead partner for Tew Cardenas' Environment, Energy and Resources practice area, and a former general counsel for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. "The Florida Legislature and Governor Bush did the right thing in overhauling the brownfields program. We especially applaud Representative Mitch Needelman and Senator Lee Constantine for their leadership on the issue."

As Representative Needelman noted, "Brownfields redevelopment benefits everyone. It improves the environment, puts properties back on the tax rolls, jump starts economic investment, creates jobs, and revitalizes our communities. It's a win-win situation for all Floridians."

A brownfield is any property that has been abandoned or underused due to possible environmental contamination. Donaldson said Florida has thousands of such properties, but many developers don't know the program exists.

"With the new legislation in place, the only real obstacle to brownfield redevelopment is making sure that businesses and communities are aware of the program and know how to take advantage of the valuable opportunities it creates," Donaldson said.

Tew Cardenas, LLP, a law firm with offices in Miami, Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., is dedicated to providing a wide range of professional services to individuals, domestic businesses, federal, state, and local governments and to international interests including foreign governments and businesses. Teri L. Donaldson is the lead partner for the firm's Environment, Energy & Resources practice group. She worked closely with members of the Florida Legislature and key stakeholders to successfully advocate for the passage of the new legislation.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Teri Donaldson
    Tew Cardenas LLP
    (850) 222-8900

    Todd Templin or Marielle Sologuren
    Boardroom Communications
    954-370-8999