Cozen O’Connor: Brownfields Development

Brownfields Development

Cozen O’Connor has been working in brownfields redevelopment since the phrase was coined in the early 1990s. We now represent leading urban and industrial site redevelopers in large-scale brownfields projects nationwide. Our attorneys assist in every stage of a project’s life cycle – from acquisition and financing to remediation, development, financing and final sale. Specifically, we conduct due diligence and site assessments; draft contracts, including sales, allocation of liability, and indemnifications; obtain government grants and tax abatements; provide comprehensive regulatory counsel; and position projects for favorable development.

There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter brownfield redevelopment project. Every site is unique and every project presents individualized challenges. Because of this, Cozen O’Connor’s considerable experience in the field is an enormous competitive advantage – there very few issues that we have not seen before and already responded to effectively. Whether reclaiming a 391-acre industrial facility or transforming an 18-acre manufacturing site into a state-of-the-art baseball stadium, our flexible and creative approach keeps projects moving forward apace, regardless of the issues that emerge along the way.

Clients also benefit from our attorneys’ close professional relationships with key government officials at the local, state and federal levels. Many of our lawyers have worked in government or are involved with trade and nonprofit organizations that routinely interact with government officials. We maintain close ties with leaders of environmental agencies, municipalities, port authorities, community improvement corporations, brownfields advisory groups, state technical and legislative environmental committees, and key business associations. These connections ensure us up-to-the-minute knowledge of relevant legislative or regulatory changes, access to high-level agency staff, and insight into the strategic approach that will best serve our clients’ interests.



  • Negotiate and draft development agreements
  • Handle real estate contracts, including acquisitions, leasing and sales
  • Draft public finance and private loan documents
  • Conduct environmental due diligence and risk management, including agreements on clean up, liability allocation, liability relief and indemnification
  • Advise on environmental liability insurance, including pollution legal liability and cost cap coverage
  • Obtain government grants, tax abatements and development incentives
  • Handle land use, zoning, building, sewer, and environmental permits and licenses
  • Conduct competitive bidding of environmental, demolition and construction services
  • Promote compliance with federal and state brownfields remediation laws