Dry Cleaners: The Environmental Scourge of Commercial Real Property

Feb 5, 2017

Environmental Enlightenment #232

An Article by Larry Schnapf

Lawrence P. Schnapf is the principal of Schnapf LLC with over 30 years of national environmental experience with Fortune 500 corporations and major New York-based law firms. He is also an adjunct professor of environmental law at New York Law School and a member of the faculty of the Center for Real Estate Studies at New York Law School. He has extensive experience with brownfield redevelopment and financing. He is the chair of the NYSBA Environmental Law Section and co-chair of the NYSBA Brownfield Task Force. He is also a past chair of the Environmental, Energy and Resources Committee of the Business Law Section of the ABA. He can be reached at larry@schnapflaw.com

REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS are generally aware of the risks posed by gas stations and tend to exclude these parcels or implement risk management strategies before acquiring title or control over properties containing these businesses. In contrast, the environmental risks of dry cleaners are often overlooked. Worse yet, dry cleaners tend to be small business with limited resources and usually do not have environmental insurance. As a result, dry cleaners are the leading source of environmental liability at commercial retail properties. This article explores the key risks posed by dry cleaners and discusses strategies for managing the risks posed by current and former dry cleaners.

Follow this link for a comprehensive, easy to read article on matters that one should know about when dealing with properties impacted from historic dry cleaning operations; be it the original dry-cleaning area or the neighbors around. Knowledge is power that turns liabilities to assets.

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