Solving Environmental Problems is not normally the jurisdiction of an investment specialist—unless an owner’s sale depends on it. The key is to understand the following:
A. What is the nature of the problem?
Such as petroleum products, groundwater, or issues with adjacent properties.
B. What is the nature of the solution?
Is it ongoing, one-time, needing remediation, or just a “No Further Action” letter?
C. Who is the best expert to solve these problems?
Having a team of reliable problem solving specialists is critical. These specialists must not only know the science, but know how to speak plainly to a client, lender, and others.
D. What state is the buyer from and what is their paradigm?
E. What is the legal solution based upon the above?
In the case of the Starbucks sale, as in many others, the property was a gas station. The tanks had leaked, but been removed. When this happens, often the original oil company will handle and pay for the remediation. However, buyers from Western states will often not touch the property. Once in the chain of title, they become liable. Losing this buyer pool can often change the pricing significantly!
What we did was solve the problem on many levels. We dealt with on-going liability, future liability and ongoing funding for the remediation. We also provided meaningful guarantees, ensuring that the buyer would not have to spend a dime now, or forever on any environmental issues. The upshot was that we made the buyer, from California, comfortable in his purchase and he closed as scheduled.
For more information and resources on this, please call us. We can assist owners when others cannot.