Town Gas: What It Could Mean For Your Next CRE Deal

The Historical Context of Town Gas

For commercial real estate (CRE) investors, understanding and managing environmental risks is a crucial aspect of due diligence, especially when dealing with properties impacted by historical town gas usage. In this post, we’ll explore the importance of thorough environmental due diligence, focusing on how Phoenix Environmental can guide investors through these complex challenges.

Town gas, primarily produced from coal, was the backbone of urban lighting and heating systems in the 19th and early 20th centuries. While it played a pivotal role in urban development, it also left a legacy of environmental concerns, particularly at Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) sites.

Environmental Risks for CRE Investors

  1. Contamination Issues: MGP sites, common in older urban centers, often harbor contaminants like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heavy metals, and other hazardous substances. These pose significant risks for CRE development and can lead to costly remediation and legal complications.
  2. Regulatory Compliance: Investors must navigate complex environmental regulations. Failure to comply can result in fines, legal action, and damage to reputation.
  3. Financial Implications: Unidentified environmental issues can lead to substantial unforeseen expenses, affecting the viability and profitability of an investment.

The Role of Phoenix Environmental in Mitigating Risks

Phoenix Environmental offers comprehensive environmental consulting services tailored for CRE investors. Our expertise is crucial in identifying, assessing, and managing environmental risks associated with historical town gas sites.

  1. Site Assessments: Phoenix Environmental conducts thorough Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs). These assessments are critical in identifying potential contamination and the extent of any environmental liabilities.
  2. Remediation Solutions: In cases where contamination is found, we provide remediation strategies that align with regulatory requirements and investment goals.
  3. Regulatory Liaison: Our team expertly navigates regulatory frameworks, ensuring compliance and facilitating smooth transactions.
  4. Long-term Risk Management: Phoenix Environmental also offers long-term risk management strategies, ensuring that CRE investments remain compliant and environmentally safe in the long run.


For CRE investors, the legacy of town gas poses unique environmental challenges. Engaging with an experienced environmental consultant like Phoenix Environmental is essential for thorough due diligence. Our expertise not only helps in mitigating risks and ensuring regulatory compliance but also in safeguarding the long-term value and sustainability of your real estate investments.