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NewsTalk

Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Commercial Real Estate / Development/Redevelopment / Real Estate & Retail

Marketing a former nerve gas site

October 29, 2009

Here’s a challenge for a savvy brokerage.

Vermillion County in western Indiana is preparing to take over the Newport Chemical Depot, where the Army stored nerve gas for a number of years.

About 3,500 acres of the site is expected to be redeveloped for business in the next couple of years. Destruction of the gas was completed last year.

But with a stigma like that, who would want to locate there?

Barbara Coles, who runs a public relations firm in Indianapolis, says the site will need to be marketed with transparency, honesty and lots of facts to overcome the stigma. One more time: Lots of facts.

Several independent sources will need to be called in to verify the site is safe based on verifiable tests. “You need to go in feeling very, very comfortable with the credibility and the facts,” Coles says.

She also would price it at fair market value to remove any suspicion the site has so much as a trace of unsafe chemicals.

How would you pitch the site? Will it be any harder to market than a house where a grisly murder took place?

 

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