Savvy buyers would be well advised to protect their interests when attempting to purchase commercial buildings and land by incorporating as a Condition of Sale, a Phase I & II Environmental Site Assessment.
A Phase I study is basically non intrusive as no testing per se is typically performed. This phase does include a comprehensive analysis and data summary of the subject property, as well as neighboring properties. An inspector looks for evidence of leaking drums, stains on the ground, floor drains, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) indicating what chemicals formerly had been used, inspection of any oil/water system service, and grease trays.
Additionally, past owners are typically interviewed, fire department records are checked (to determine if there had been any previous chemical spills) and current photos are cross referenced with historical photos. Cost for a Phase I study will depend upon the nature and scope of the project but an estimated range should be approximately $2000-$2500 in Middle TN. An expert in this field that I recommend is Malcolm Pfotenhaven, Principal of Enviornmental, Inc, Nashville, 615-324-3850 direct / 615-512-8496 mobile.
Phase I costs are negotiable between buyers and sellers. It is not unusual for buyers to pay for the full cost but it is also common for buyers and sellers who agree to share Phase I costs. Some sellers agree to pay for all costs, particularly when they feel their property is “clean” and they use that to their advantage when marketing their property for sale.
Phase II involves intrusive testing of soils, ground water, and air. This is triggered wieh any recognizable environmental conditions exist as a result of the Phase I study. As one can imagine, the nature and scope can be far reaching. One should expect costs ranging from a minimum of $2000 to upwards of $50,000 on major projects.
Typically soil samples are taken at depths ranging from 8-12 feet. On extreme soil contaminated sites, soil tests may go down 75 feet.
You might also be wondering what types of sites are more likely than not to be at an increased level of risk for environmental hazards. Consider the following: gas stations/convenience stores, termite companies, trucking & car repair/service stations, dry cleaning companies, and industrial companies to illustrate just a few.
I will address other environmental matters (mold, radon, asbestos, etc.) that buyers should protect their interests, before closing, in subsequent blog articles.
Tags: Buying Commercial Properties in Middle Tn, Environmental Issues in Middle Tn, Environmental Site Assessments in Middle Tn, Middle Tn Real Estate, Phase I II & III Middle Tn, Red Realty Murfreesboro, Selling Commercial Real Estate in Middle Tn, Top Broker in Murfreesboro